Gerard Monteiro
06/11/2023 02:22 PM

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 6 (Bernama) -- The Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) has been requested to present its plan for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles (LA 2028) to the Road To Gold (RTG) committee members by the end of this year or early next year.

SRAM president Gerard Monteiro said the proposal includes identifying four men’s singles players and four women’s singles players with the potential to represent the country in LA 2028.

Gerard said among the players earmarked for participation in the world’s largest multi-sport event are two 2022 Hangzhou Asian Games champions - Ng Eain Yow (men’s singles) and S. Sivasangari (women’s singles) - as well as the Azman sisters, Aifa and Aira.

“We will identify four men’s singles and four women’s singles players for us to groom from now until the 2028 Olympic Games. 

“This is to ensure that we have replacements in case of any unforeseen circumstances,” he told reporters after the first meeting with RTG committee members, together with representatives from the National Sports Council and National Sports Institute here, today.

Gerard said they will also work to help these potential players achieve a spot in the world’s top 10 rankings ahead of the 2028 Olympic Games, and thus making them eligible for the RTG program.

Both Eain Yow and Aifa currently hold the country’s top position in men’s and women’s singles in the latest world rankings. 

Eain Yow is currently ranked 20th, while Aifa is in 25th position in the world rankings.

The RTG project, introduced by the Ministry of Youth and Sports (KBS) in April, is a national initiative aimed at coordinating the country’s efforts to win its first gold medal at the Olympic Games, with a focus on the Paris 2024 and LA 2028 editions.

Among the athletes already included in the RTG programme are national track cycling champion, Datuk Mohd Azizulhasni Awang, 2022 world badminton men’s doubles champions, Aaron Chia-Soh Wooi Yik, and diving queen, Datuk Pandelela Rinong.

On Oct 13, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Executive Board (EB) approved squash (singles event) as one of five additional sports to be included in the 2028 Olympic Games. 

The other four sports to be featured in LA 2028 are baseball/softball, cricket (T20), flag football (a variant of American football) and lacrosse (sixes).