With reference to the article “Squash: Chance for Nicol to make amends in Australia” (dated 23 June 2011 by Aftar Singh), it is interesting to be able to tap into the minds of journalists writing for mainstream media in Malaysia. Needless to say, the title of the article gives the average person an impression that Nicol David has been on a losing streak and now has the chance to change that.
Having been World No. 1 since August 2006, Nicol was top seed at the Commonwealth Games 2006 in Melbourne. She suffered a “meltdown” and lost to Natalie Grinham in the semis and to Shelley Kitchen in the bronze medal playoff. Nicol was disappointed and so were her fans.
But looking at the bigger picture, in 2006, Nicol emerged champion in the Asian Games, Qatar Classic, Hong Kong Open, British Open and the prestigious World Open amongst others. But what the media chooses to remember is the one dark moment she had at the Commonwealth Games.
In 2008 and 2010, Nicol remained steadfast and unbeaten, a feat not many athletes have accomplished in any sporting field. And to make “amends”, she won the gold medal in the women’s singles event at the Commonwealth Games 2010 in Delhi. She also won the bronze medal with partner Ong Beng Hee in the mixed doubles. She not only avenged her defeat in the previous Commonwealth Games, she went one notch higher.
Nicol David is an exceptional athlete and an outstanding individual. As Malaysians, we should be proud to call her our own. Instead of focusing on the negatives from the past, we should commend her for her achievements and push her to greater heights with our encouragement and support. It would be great to see some positive reinforcement from mainstream media. It would make our reading more worthwhile.