PRESS : Coach believes Nicol can claim third Gold

Malaysian squash queen Nicol David’s consistency over the years should help push her towards a gold-medal finish at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in April.

At least, that’s what national head coach Peter Genever believes.

The 34-year-old Nicol is going through a slight decline as an improved field and ever-evolving game have limited her production.

The eight-time world champion didn’t have the best run-up to the Games as she has not made any final since the Netsuite Open last September and was a first-round casualty at the Windy City Open in Chicago in February.

“Nicol’s first-round defeat in Chicago is probably not the ideal result leading up to the Games,” said Genever.

“But despite all that, she has still managed to stay in the world’s top 10 and that shows the consistency that she has delivered over the years.

“So although the early results were not great, I feel it’s not much of a concern because performing in big events is the key here.

“Of course, it’s still a very tough field out there. It’s gotten tougher compared to the Glasgow Games four years ago.

“Six of the world’s top 12, including Nicol, are there in the competition and there’s little to separate them.

“It really comes down to the performance on the day and I’m hopeful that Nicol, with her experience, will be able to push through.

“Besides, she’s already been there since March 13 and is showing good energy.

“I’m looking forward to joining up with her tomorrow for a few sessions before the competition starts,” added the Englishman.

The rest of the Malaysian squad departed for Gold Coast yesterday. The squash competition will start with the singles on April 5.

Third seed Nicol, who has a first-round bye, will start her campaign against either Colette Sultana of Malta or Samantha Hennings of Cayman Islands in the second round.

Besides Nicol, the other two Malaysians in the singles are youngsters S. Sivasangari and Aifa Azman.

For the men, the Malaysian challenge is headed by Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan, Ng Eain Yow and Ivan Yuen.

Original story from The Star