|Nicol David, Women's Squash Queen|
Pic by kamalselle
Her precocious talent was first spotted by Ee Phoeh Hoon and nurtured under the auspices of the Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia.
From 1999 onwards, Nicol David began achieving one of the many "firsts" in her squash career. In that year, he won the World Junior Championship title at the age of 15, the youngest ever to do so. In 2001, she managed to win the title again for the second time, the first ever junior to win the title twice.
In 2000, Nicol turned professional and within only one month won her first WISPA ( Women International Squash Players Association ) title at the Savcor Finnish Open.
Among the other many titles she won such as the British Open and Asian Squash Championships, she has won the World Open five times in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2010. Nicol has also been named the WISPA player of the year for six consecutive years from 2005-2010!
When she won her first World Open title in Germany in 2005, she was only 21 years, the youngest ever winner for a World Open. And when she was first named the world women squash player of the year in 2003, at age 23, Nicol was the first Malaysian and first Asian to be so honoured.
At one time, Nicol went 51 matches undefeated from March 2006 to April 2007 when she finally lost to Natalie Grinham in the 2007 Seoul Open.
For her efforts and in recognition of her achievements, Nicol was awarded the Order of Merit ( Darjah Bakti ) or D.B by the King in 2008, the first ever recipient of the honour. Then in July of the same year, she was conferred a Datukship by the governor of Penang, again the youngest such awardee in the state.
Nicol had also been appointed United Nations' national goodwill ambassador of Malaysia in 2004.
Her latest win was at the recently concluded CIMB Open in Kuala Lumpur where she said that her her biggest challenge this year was to win the World Open title for a record six times.
If she manages to do so, and there is no reason why she can't, this will be another "first" and another feather in the cap for her.