Squash Queen Nicol David will be missed

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NICOL DAVID ruled the squash world with eight world titles and reigned as World No 1 for 112 months. Her sudden decision to call quits from the racquet sport will certainly leave a big vacuum.

The 35-year-old from Penang shocked the world with her decision to quit squash in June – bringing an era to an end after 20 years of “service” that made Malaysia proud.

She was the world champion in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2014 and could add another feather in her illustrious career when she competes in the World Championships in Chicago, the United States from Feb 23-March 2.

The “humble’ Nicol will call time when the present 2018-2019 Professional Squash Association season ends in June.

Datuk Nicol also won the Commonwealth Games gold in 2010 (New Delhi) and 2014 (Glasgow) apart from the prestigious British Open in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2012 and 2014.

This list of titles go on for the much loved Nicol who was the Hong Open Champion 10-times (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2102, 2013, 2014, 2015), the Malaysia Open champion eight times (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2013) and the Asian Games gold medallist in 1998, 2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018.

Nicol was the fans favorite around the world and this is reflected when they voted her as “The Greatest of All Time” and Nicol thanked them for “journeying” with her in her squash career.

Always humble and with a smile even in defeat Nicol, however, will not cut off from the sport totally and has already laid out her plans with coaching topping the list of priorities.

Not forgetting Nicol and company have embarked on a journey to have squash included in the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

The Professional Squash Association (PSA) and the World Squash Federation have joined forces with Nicol on their global mission to have squash in the Olympics.

She also has plans to focus on the Nicol David Foundation and empower girls through sports and improve their studies and soft skills apart from sharing her experiences via talks as she journeys into her next phase of life.

Nicol’s father is former national goalkeeper Desmond David, a retired engineer while the mother is Ann Marie David, a retired teacher.

Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) director Major (Rtd) S. Maniam summed up Nicol’s humbleness when he was quoted in local media “I don’t think at any moment did success ever got to her head”.

In short, Nicol is the pride of the nation and kept the Jalur Gemilang flying and has left her mark in the world of squash as it’s “Greatest” and her retirement certainly leaves a vacuum that will be hard to fill.

Nicol, you are a true Malaysian. We are proud of you.

World Players of the Year in 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 speaks of your reign as the Squash Queen.  RIZAL ABDULLAH 

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