Tuesday, June 27, 2006


This year we had about 250 entries with India having the most foreign participants followed by Japan and Australia. We also had for the 1st time a Swedish participant. The ratio for Malaysians : foreigners was about 50 : 50. The tournament was runned smoothly and so much easier compared to the previous years because of the improvements we made. Added a PA system and had the army boys helping us out with the courts and refereeing. Wasn't the best refereeing but sufficient for the time being.

Need more help for next year and I hope that I will have a bigger budget for helpers/referees. I have been asked to make the event bigger but I think the numbers now are just nice. Any bigger and I think we will be too chaotic. I want to keep it as a smaller and more relaxing event for the foreign and outstation teams, not a massively big event.

The hardest part was that we had to immediattely prepare for the organising part as soon as we arrived from Alor Setar that night. Setting up the tournament control and putting up all the draws took a while. So pretty much had to stay the night at the courts as I finished everything at 2 a.m. Crazy? Nah! That's my life.....totally revolves around squash.


This was immediattely after Penang and it had 600+ entries. It became the biggest junior event ever held in the world. But it was the most chaotic as well. So stressful when we found out that we had to cover 3 venues, 2 in PJ and 1 in Shah Alam! Had to be up at 6.30am every morning because I covered the Shah Alam courts. Transport schedule was also another problem as it was not evenly scheduled. 1st bus at 7 a.m. and the next bus at 1 p.m. , just CRAZY!!!

I have stopped sending big numbers for this tournament for the last few years already and a few other states are following suit. The All Star is supposed to be the Malaysian Junior Open, so I only send the best and those who can compete at an international level. The rest that needs international exposure can use the Penang tournament as it is smaller and lower standard. We need to remember that as coaches we have to match the tournament to the ability of our players, not because there is funding for it.

Any way, the Milo All Star even received thumbs down from the foreigner who have been going there for many years. The comment was that it was getting too big and the organisation of it was going down. Time to buck up, you people!

That's all for the 2 tournaments. Next up will be MSSM.....and that will be a juicy write up.

Monday, June 12, 2006

What a busy month! I will actually write about the tournaments that have gone on and might take a while though. So you guys need to be patient to read through all the stuff.

SUKMA 2006
Individual Event
This bi-annual event is the Malaysian Games proper and the only multi-sport event in the country. The squash event was scheduled to finish well before the official opening ceremony to enable the calender to accommodate the Penang Junior Open and Milo All-Star. Ths event was a U-18 event and only 4 gold medals were at stake, boys & girls individual and boys & girls team. We were the clear favourites for the girls events but if we could get a medal in the boys, that would have been a big bonus. That was our wish.

But when the individual event got on the way, Randy Lim managed to force his was into the finals by beating the top seed in the semifinals. That was his first win over that player this year and what a win. It was a 5 game thriller. The girls on the other hand easily made it an all Penang final with Wee Wern playing Nabilla.

The finals were on and we were trying to go for a clean sweep. We were really rooting for Randy to pull off another upset against his opponent. And how he fought! Another 5 game thriller and to our dismay, he lost this time. He just ran out of steam and plus the fact his opponent had an easier semifinal helped. But still a great performance from him. Wee Wern showed that she was a class above everyone else by just dropping 5 points in the finals. That was the most in the whole tournament.

Team Event
With the individual event done and surpassing our initial target, we got on with the team event. The boys were not fancied to even win a medal, so we just set a semifinal target. That we achieved and were down to play the favourites again, Selangor. With Randy in fine nick, we were praying for a miracle that one of the other players would nick us a point. And so it happened as Kesh Singh managed to beat his opponent 10-9 in the 5th. What a match!! Gave us a heart attack. Randy was on next and he duly delivered with another 5 game win. So we were in the finals!!! So unexpected and we were euphoric. The girls did their part again by reaching the finals as well.

Again we were trying for a clean sweep but with the schedule against us, the boys were up against the impossible as the finals were in the afternoon, 3 hours of rest. As expected the girls won but abeilt a scare when Wee Nee struggled to a 5 game win. Her match was littered with errors, maybe match jitters. Wee wern put the matter beyond doubt with an emphatic win. So 1 in the bag. The boys were tired, especially Kesh and Randy but the went out there to win. Kesh could not sustain the pace and lost. Randy, wanting to make up for the individual lost, fought gallantly but had to succumb to a fresher opponent.

So the final tally of 2-3-0 put us as overall winners of the squash event. How it would have been if we had our number one player! A clean sweep maybe? Well, something to ponder on.

The venue was newly prepared for the games and was good except the slippery floors, which could have been avoided by sanding it earlier and getting the home team to train there. Organization of the event was top notch and smooth. Only blot was the refereeing, which was generally poor although they were supposed to be national level. An area that needs to be looked into seriously.

That's all, keep on checking on updates and happy squashing.