PETALING JAYA: Malaysia will be banking on Delia Arnold to rise to the occasion when they begin their Women’s World Team Squash Championship campaign against hosts Canada.
The 28-year-old Delia, who is making her fourth world team championship appearance, is playing at No. 3 in the team powered by world No.1 Nicol David and world No. 7 Low Wee Wern.
Having finished third in the last four editions of the biennial tournament from 2006-2012, Malaysia need the experienced Delia to deliver the crucial point in order to break the title duck. The fourth member in the team is Zulhijjah Azan.
Delia’s recent run of good form is a big boost to Malaysia. She defeated world No. 5 Alison Waters of England in the first round of the Malaysian Open in August and world No. 14 Madeline Perry of Ireland in the first round at last month’s Macau Open. Then, she won her first title of the year at the Penang Open two weeks ago.
“I’ve also had a few lucky breaks as well ... having my lucky pink socks with me during tournaments gave me a boost too. And I think it’s great that I managed to win in Penang because it couldn’t have come a better time.
“We’ve finished third in the last four world team championships, so we definitely want to do better than that and I’m ready to deliver,” added Delia.
After taking on Canada, powered by world No. 30 Samantha Cornett, third seeds Malaysia will play Mexico in the second match of the day in Pool C.
They will take on Guatemala first before wrapping up their pool fixtures against sixth seeds the United States, powered by world No.10 Amanda Sobhy, on Wednesday.
Defending champions Egypt, who are drawn in Pool A with Ireland, New Zealand, Colombia and China, are still the team to beat. The Egyptians have world No. 3 Raneem El Welily, world No. 4 Nour El Sherbini, world No. 8 Nour El Tayeb and world No. 11 Omneya Abdel Kawy in their ranks.
Second seeds England, led by world champion Laura Massaro, are also strong favourites while fourth seeds Hong Kong and nine-time winners Australia are expected to spring a few surprises.
by Kng Zheng Guan - The Star