29th August, 2013
TWELVE DAYS TO GO … Khairy (centre), Nicol (4th right, front), and others yesterday.
KUALA LUMPUR: The effort to put squash as one of the events to be contested at the 2020 Olympics is the priority for the squash fraternity, said world women’s number one Datuk Nicol Ann David.
“Seeing squash in the Olympics would be the pinnacle for all squash fraternity.
“It is about 12 days more (before the official announcement by the International Olympic Committee) before we will know the answer and I hope squash will be chosen.
“I’m so excited about it and confident that squash will be the one. After all the hard work and campaigning, I think we have a strong case,” said Nicol when met after being appointed as the brand ambassador for KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, here yesterday.
The year-to-year basis sponsorship would enable Nicol to gain the airline’s platinum status which provides her with hassle free travelling privileges.
“It is a feather in our cap and we are very proud that Nicol, being the world’s best women’s squash player, not only accepts but duly endorses our brand as the preferred airline despite her gruelling travel requirements,” said Air France-KLM Country Manager, Estee Ng.
On May 29, the IOC had announced that the governing body for the Olympics had short-listed three sports to be included in the 2020 Olympic Games, namely squash, wrestling and baseball.
The IOC is expected to reach its final decision on which sport to include after a vote in Buenos Aires, Argentina on Sept 8. However, Nicol noted that she would not be able to be in Buenos Aires with the other World Squash Federation representatives to hear IOC’s final decision.
“I am not able to join them as I will be here (in Kuala Lumpur) to play in the Malaysian Open (from Sept 10 to 15). I know we have a very strong team going there,” said Nicol.
Later, in a separate event at the National Squash Centre in Bukit Jalil, Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin pledged to give squash all the support it needed in its bid to get into the 2020 Olympics.
“Squash is in the final shortlist with wrestling and that makes it very tough. There is still a chance though and we will help in any way possible to get squash selected for the Games,” said Khairy.
Khairy added that he believed that squash would be chosen and it would help to boost the sport in the country.