After two days of traveling straight from the Asian Games in China to New Zealand; the whole Malaysian Women’s team were onto to our next task at hand—the Women’s World Teams Squash Championship 2010.
We arrived in Palmerston North Airport and a group of school children greeted the squash teams with a Haka. Each team was looked after by two Liaison Officers; ours were Jarrad and Tarsha, and they brought us back to the official tournament hotel at the Hotel Coachman.
The team settled in comfortably the first two nights before our first match started at the Gym Club.
Pool rounds (Hong Kong, Canada and New Zealand)
We came through well the first day with Hong Kong 3-0 and had a few close matches with Canada to win 3-0. New Zealand was the decider of our crossover match. Wee Wern and Delia were up first playing Joelle King and Shelley Kitchen respectively. After a tough battle, Joelle won 3-1 and Shelley stepped up beating Delia 3-0. As we were still in the pool stage, I had to play my match against Jaclyn Hawkes and won 3-0.
Quarter finals against Egypt
Defending Champion Egypt was our crossover match and it sure was exciting. Raneem El Weleily was up first with Wee Wern. She powered on to beat Wee Wern 3-0 then I had to face Omneya Abdel Kawy to try and level the scores. After an hour of intense squash, I managed to win 3-1. Delia took on Engy Kheirallah and they kept us right on the edge. Delia brought on her ‘A’ game and Engy didn’t seem as comfortable during their match. Delia won the 5th game 11-8 to get us through to the semis. What a result beating the world champions!
Semi Finals against Australia
Australia had a power packed team and our team gave it our best to equal 1-1 having Sharon taking on former 5-time World Champion Sarah Fitz-Gerald and I beat Rachael Grinham. Delia came up against Kasey Brown but just couldn’t bring herself to keep up to the pace Kasey was enforcing. Delia pushed Kasey in the third but the Australian kept her cool to win 3-0 for a place in the finals.
3rd/4th Placing against New Zealand
It was another meeting with the New Zealand team and this time we were fighting for a place on the podium. The New Zealand team was a few points to the finals and just missed out against England. They had to play us the day after and everyone was starting to feel the week taking its toll. Sharon was playing Shelley and Shelley kept steady to win 3-0. I played Jaclyn again and winning my last match of the year, I was well relieved that I could get that point for our team. Wee Wern was back on with Joelle and she got the better of her in this match. Wee Wern came through for the team beating Joelle 3-1 and we finished third place for Malaysia.
It was all team work from each of the girls and I would like to thank them for this opportunity to be part of a great team. We also had a lot of the Malaysian students and members of the High Commission from Wellington to give the extra support during the week. It made such a difference for the team to push through the whole week with the Malaysian cheering squad behind us.
This is the end of the year for me. A nice finale to 2010.
Thank you everybody for making this the best year of my squash career. Here’s to more great years to come!