Olsen's plans hit by back injury

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 June, 1995, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 June, 1995, 12:00am

HONG KONG number one Dawn Olsen was ruled out of the Pak Fah Yeow Women's World Championships by a recurring back injury which also cast a shadow over her hopes of playing at the East Asian Championships in October.

Olsen, whose last competition was the East Asian in Manila last July, had entered for the world tournament qualifiers starting on June 25 and had been training exceptionally hard getting back into form.

The tough training in the past two months, however, took its toll and she pulled a muscle in her lower back a week ago.

'I've been doing lots of weight training and drills getting ready for the World Championships qualifiers, which was actually part of my preparation for the East Asian,' said Olsen.

'But the training took its toll and I hurt my back again. I've had to slow down on my training now as I still hope to play in the East Asian.' The Pak Fah Yeow tournament has attracted the best field ever assembled for the World Championships with the top 27 ranked players all coming.

Only the top 24 will go directly into the 32-player main draw and there are another 21 overseas entries for the qualifiers.

Olsen, who reached a career high world ranking of 20th in 1992 but quit the circuit the following year because of a nagging back injury, would have been the top local hope of getting through to the main draws.

She is still the undisputed queen of Hong Kong squash despite playing only sparingly in recent years.

Hong Kong's top hope now is schoolgirl Rebecca Chiu Wing-yin, a 17-year-old who has beaten every woman player in the territory except Olsen.

Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Squash Racquets Association have modified the summer development programme for youngsters, which is in its fourth year.

The coaching scheme will be held in 10 districts in Hong Kong and Kowloon and instead of culminating with an individual tournament, the most promising players will be drafted into regional squads for advanced training and an inter-regional team competition in November.