Malaysian teens set to dominate

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 July, 2000, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 July, 2000, 12:00am

Malaysia have set their sights on a clean sweep of titles at this week's Asian Championships, which begin tomorrow at the Hong Kong Squash Centre.

Led by their two reigning world junior champions - Nicol David, in the women's event, and Ong Beng Hee, in the men's competition - Malaysia are top seeds in all four events to be contested by 15 countries.

Penang-born David, 16, who many tip as a future world champion, will re-ignite her rivalry with Hong Kong ace Rebecca Chiu Wing-yin, whom she beat in the final of the Asian Games in Bangkok two years ago.

'We haven't faced each other since the Asian Games. It'll be interesting to see how much the two of us have improved. My speed is my advantage and I've developed greater strength in my upper body,' David, the defending champion, said.

Malaysia face a tougher task in the men's events, where they will come up against the might of Pakistan. Malaysia coach S. Maniam admitted: 'Pakistan are a strong team but we have sweet memories of Hong Kong because this is where we beat Pakistan for the first time in the Asian Junior Championships in 1995.'