Thursday, September 20, 2007

SEA Games: Seven squash men vie for two places

KUALA LUMPUR: The Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) will conduct trials to pick two men's players for the Korat SEA Games.

The SRAM secretary, K. Sivanesen, said that seven players would be involved in the three-day trial, starting today at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil.

“The back-up players will feature in the SEA Games (Dec 6-15) as our top three men will be competing in the world team championships in Chennai,” he said.

Sivanesen added that they would name a third player to join Mohd Azlan Iskandar and Ong Beng Hee for the world team championships scheduled for Dec 7-15.

The place in the team is likely to go to Nafiizwan Adnan, who is currently playing in the qualifying rounds of the British Open in Manchester.

The seven involved in the trials for the SEA Games are Nafzahizam Adnan, Elvinn Keo, Choong Kam Hing, Kamran Khan, Valentino Bong and the Azan brothers, Asyraf and Asfar.

Sivanesen added that they were confident that the second stringers would be good enough to retain the gold medal for Malaysia.

At the 2005 Manila Games, Nafiizwan defeated team-mate Timothy Arnold to bag the men's title. Timothy has quit the game.

Nafzahizam, the elder brother of Nafiizwan, said that he would be out to make up for the disappointment of not getting a place to play in the Manila Games.

“I turned professional in 2004 and was the most senior player among the five who were involved in the trials in 2005. But I lost to two juniors.

“I want to play in the SEA Games for the first time and I will go all out to win the trials this time,” said Nafzahizam, who is ranked 123rd in the world.

The 22-year-old Terengganu player added that he would face a strong challenge from Elvinn, who defeated him in the NSC Satellites this year.

The women players for the SEA Games are Sharon Wee and Tricia Chuah, who won the gold and silver medal respectively in the Manila Games

The Star

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