SYDNEY, April 3 — Malaysia’s squash queen, Datuk Nicol David said that the pressure is off as she committed to bid her third consecutive gold medal in the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.
Nicol, 34, currently ranked sixth in the world, is lining up for her sixth Commonwealth Games but for the first time since the Manchester 2002, she was not the tournament top seed.
“For me, I am seeded number three, I’ve got nothing to lose. I want to start strong and see how far I go.
“It is a bonus for me to be part of the games again. And to play for Malaysia, I will give it my all. I want to enjoy the games and the results will come,” she told Bernama when met after the Malaysian training session at the Oxenford Studios.
Nicol, who is coached by Australian Liz Irving, has been getting a feel of the court for the past few weeks.
“I was here for the last two weeks. I just want to get a good feel of the glass court and side court so that I can get off to a good start here,” she added.
The Penang-born player competed in her first Commonwealth Games as a 14-year-old in the Kuala Lumpur 1998 before spending a record of 108 consecutive months (2006-2015) on top of the official women’s world rankings and amassed an incredible 56-match unbeaten run in 2009.
She won Commonwealth singles gold at Delhi 2010 and Glasgow 2014.
Nicol, has a first-round bye before meeting either Colette Sultana of Malta or Cayman Island’s Samantha Hennings in the second round.
She should progress to the last 16 to set up a meeting with Canada’s Samantha Cornett while England’s fifth seed Alison Waters is a potential quarter final opponent.
Besides Nicol, the other Malaysian women competing in the singles are national number two S.Sivasangari and Aifa Azman.
Sangari is drawn to meet Scotland’s Alison Thomson after a first-round bye while Aifa will also face Scottish player Lisa Atken after the first-round bye.
The women’s singles event begins at the Oxenford Studios on April 5. — Bernama