Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Nicol up against same old rivals

MALAYSIA’S seven-time world champion Nicol David touched down in Glasgow yesterday, knowing that she faces an awesome challenge to win a second Commonwealth Games title.

The pack that have been attempting to knock Nicol off her perch are mostly from Commonwealth countries and the World No 1 said she is aware of just how tough the next few days will be.

“I went into full preparation mode for the Commonwealth Games about three weeks ago as I am fully aware that I have to overcome some tough challenges to win gold again,” said Nicol, who arrived in Glasgow from Amsterdam yesterday.

Despite her almost decade-long domination, the gold she won in New Delhi four years ago was her first, and she now wants a second title.

“I have to take it match-by-match as England and Australia have players who are dangerous. Looking too far ahead will not help as every match will be equally tough.

“We cannot afford to underestimate the lower ranked players either as they too will be out to win and we have to be cautious against them.”

Despite that, Malaysia expect Nicol to not only be in the final but win gold and the nation is even hopeful of a second from her in the doubles.

She will be partnering Low Wee Wern, a player who Nicol said has improved tremendously.
“What we need to do now is make sure we have a telepathic understanding on court. The doubles will be difficult but we will give it our best shot.”

A preview of just how tough the challenge will be, came in the recent Tri-Nations Doubles invitational tournament in Bukit Jalil where Nicol-Wee Wern won the bronze at the three-day competition which also featured pairs from India and New Zealand.

Glasgow will also feature pairs from England and Australia and if it is to be a golden show from Nicol-Wee Wern, they will have to perform above expectations.


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