KUALA LUMPUR, The sterling success of national squash queen S. Sivasangari winning the London Classic Squash Championship has given a new sheen to the national hunt for the sport’s inaugural gold at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, according to national squash legend Datuk Nicol Ann David.

The country’s former squash queen described Sivasangari’s outstanding performance as her additional tonic to hunt for gold at the prestigious quadrennial Games, not to mention that she managed to sweep aside three players in the world’s top 10 in one tournament.

‘I think it is amazing what Sivasangari has accomplished, she is working very hard, she was able to beat the number one, two and four in the world all in one tournament. It is really a great achievement and I’m glad she could use that momentum from the quarter-finals right up to the final, I’m very proud of her.

‘I’m wishing her all the best because we know what it takes to get that point and moving forward with a positive boost for the next tournament,’ she told
Bernama today.

In the meantime, Nicol said Sivasangari should plan carefully, given that the Los Angeles Olympics is still far ahead.

She said the 24-year-old athlete should use the available time to prepare thoroughly.

‘I think everyone has a goal for gold, I think for Sivasangari, she still has four years to go, we are all here supporting her, a lot of things can happen, and it is up to her what she wants to do,’ Nicol said.

Meanwhile, another former national squash player, Sharon Wee, described the excellent display by Sivasangari as being able to restore Malaysia’s glory days for squash.

‘Sivasangari is ranked 13th in the world, so the top 10 is definitely in hand, top 5 highly possible, and number one is possible, but to get to that process, we have to give her space to grow bigger, she has already done well to win a gold medal, the opportunity is definitely there,’ Sharon said.

In the meantime, Sharon, who is also the deputy president of the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM), describe
d Sivasangari as a fighter, for rising and creating history following a horrific road accident she suffered in June 2022.

‘She is very strong mentally and, at the same time, working hard to achieve the mission, and the way she plays is very aggressive and smart, she really deserves to receive incentives from the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) for her success,’ Sharon said.

Sivasangari made history after emerging as the champion of the inaugural edition of the London Classic Squash Championship by knocking out world number two Hania El Hammamy of Egypt in the final on Monday.

In the tournament, she also eliminated world number four Nele Gilis in the semi-finals on Sunday, after shocking world number one Nour El Sherbini in the quarter-finals on Saturday.

Sivasangari also created a sensation when she gave the Malaysian contingent a gold medal in the women’s singles at the 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games (held in September 2023) by defeating Hong Kong’s Chan Sin Yuk.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency