Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Unfazed Nicol heads to Russia for squash’s Olympic bid

Busy schedule: Nicol David (right) in action against England’s Laura Massaro in the British Open final on Sunday. She then rushed to Russia to help present squash’s bid for Olympic inclusion. Busy schedule: Nicol David (right) in action against England’s Laura Massaro in the British Open final on Sunday. She then rushed to Russia to help present squash’s bid for Olympic inclusion.
 
PETALING JAYA: World No.1 Nicol David remains upbeat and positive in playing her part for squash’s Olympic bid despite suffering a demoralising defeat to England’s Laura Massaro in the British Open final on Sunday.

Nicol, a four-time British Open champion, surprisingly lost in four sets to world No. 2 Massaro.
It proved to be her most disappointing result in a major tournament in recent years. The last time she failed to shine in a major meet was at the 2009 British Open, losing in the quarter-finals to Ireland’s Madeline Perry.

Despite losing her aura of invincibility, Nicol is positive enough for the next challenge – presenting squash’s Olympic bid to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) executive board – alongside men’s world No.1 Ramy Ashour, and World Squash Federation (WSF) president N. Ramachandran and chief executive officer Andrew Shelley in St Petersburg, Russia, today.

Squash is vying to be among the two or three sports in the final short-list when the IOC make their recommendation. The other sports in the fray are karate, wushu, baseball-softball, sports climbing, wakeboarding, roller sports and wrestling, which was dropped from the Olympics as a core sport earlier this year.

The final decision will be made in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in Septem-ber, before the full IOC session.

“I really wanted to win the British title because it meant so much to me. Still, this defeat will just spur me to get stronger and more solid for the second half of the year,” said Nicol.

“However, despite being a little down, I’m really honoured to be part of a great team — with Ramy, to present our case in St Petersburg. The energy will be buzzing and it will be an amazing experience.
“Personally, I’m glad to be given the chance to present our case. This time, we’re coming in with a stronger campaign. Hopefully that will give us the edge over the other sports.

“Squash awareness is rapidly spreading through social media and other efforts although it’ll really be up to the IOC to decide,” said Nicol.

Nicol stressed that she would return to training once the Olympic presentation is done.
“I’ll have a short break after this and then I’ll continue to build up on my training from what I’ve done leading to the British Open. It’ll be more work until the World Games in August and I’m really excited and looking forward to it,” said Nicol.



THE STAR

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