“It’s OFFICIAL! I’m truly happy and excited to be sharing with everyone that I’m retiring in June.
“I’d like to thank everyone for supporting me and all your love in the last 20 years and it’s time for new and exciting opportunities to come. #thedreamremains”, Nicol David announced on Twitter just yesterday (Feb 18).
This may come as a surprise but the eight-time world champion squash queen is hanging up her racket this June after her final swings at the PSA World Championships in Chicago, PSA World Tour reported.
“After more than 20 years playing squash for Malaysia, competing on the professional tour and achieving the utmost best from my career being the only Malaysian athlete to achieve these accolades and to be recognized as the greatest female squash athlete of all time by my peers, I can proudly say that I am ready and happy to announce my retirement at the end of this seasonal tour,” The Star quoted David as saying.
David’s retirement is imminent, something we could see it miles away but we never want to acknowledge it. An athlete who is still at it at 35-year-old screams dedication. So to celebrate her retirement, let’s us all look back the legacies she left behind in these five pointers.
1. 8-time world champion
Think about eight-time world champion for nine consecutive years − uncontested − you know it is our homegirl Nicol David.
The Penangnite is one of the most successful squash players ever, staying at the world no.1 from 2006 to 2015.
Apart from that, she brought home five British Open titles, two gold medals from the Commonwealth Games, five gold medals from the Asian Games and three gold medals from the World Games. Darn it, Olympics. We do not like you.
Although her domination staying number one came to end in September 2015, David continued to write her name in record books. She set the longest and uncontested record ever, by staying on the top five for 143 months. Which is over 11 years, by the way.
David became a professional squash player in 2000 and won 81 tour titles since. She had also won 567 of her 680 matches throughout her career. Her most recent win was the Ciudad de Floridablanca in March 2017, when she beat America’s Olivia Blatchford Clyne to take the trophy.
Numbers aside, she was voted as the greatest female squash player of all time in a poll by Professional Squash Association (PSA) in summer 2018. Win games but also win hearts too! ❤️
2. THE YOUNGEST MALAYSIAN TO RECEIVED A “DATO” HONORIFIC
The squash queen became the youngest Malaysian to be awarded with a “Dato” honourific in 2008 when she was only 25. In 2017, she received the highest order of “Datuk”.
3. SHE IS A BRAND AMBASSADOR TO VARIOUS COMPANIES
Other than squashing her opponents to bits, David was also brand ambassadors to Mercedes-Benz Malaysia (MBM), Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines.
She was also appointed as National Goodwill Ambassador in the United Nations Development Programme, which she believes the youths can bring forward positive changes in development, peace, and democracy. She has been actively rallying the public to curb all forms of poverty.
4. SHE WAS A STELLAR STUDENT
She might be good in her games, but she is also an outstanding student when she was in school.
David scored a perfect straight seven As in her Penilaian Menengah Rendah(PMR) in 1998, and another seven As in her Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) in 2000. She completed her formal education in Convent Green Lane Primary School and Convent Green Lane Secondary School.
5. SHE WON HER FIRST INTERNATIONAL TITLE ONLY AT 11
David won her first international title in the Scottish Open Under-12 and the Hong Kong Open Under-13 in 1994, which she was only 11 by that time.
It turns out before she won her international titles, she was chosen to represent her home-state Penang to play in the squash team for the Malaysian Games (SUKMA). It was reported that she was actually sick, yet somehow still managed to bring back a gold medal for Penang in the event.
Speaking about her retirement, David said, “This decision has been thought through for quite some time and I do know that this is my last season.
“My mind and body have battled it out to stay at the very top of my game for such a long time that I feel that I only have this last big push left for the final season to give it all I have before I enter the next phase of my life.”
She said she will miss competing and travelling all around the world. As of now, she will make the most of it before the curtain closes in June.
“Thank you from my heart for the amazing support from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, the National Sports Council the Institute of Sport Malaysia, the Penang Sports Council, and all squash associations involved throughout my career – Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM), Squash Rackets Association of Penang (SRAP) and The Penang Squash Academy.”
“And, of course, my technical and support team with the incredible Liz Irving working with me for 16 wonderful years together – what a great journey it has been.”
David’s next competition will be the World Championship title later this week at the PSA World Championships presented by the Walter Family, which is in Chicago’s Union Station between February 23 to March 2, 2019.
Malaysians netizens have nothing but praises and send in well-wishes to David’s journey to retirement.
One netizen commented, “Salute to her. She is our greatest sportsperson. World No 1 for years. She could have won at least 2 Olympic Gold medals, probably 3. If only they had squash as an Olympic sport.”
Another added,” Congratulations! You’ve done Malaysia proud. Wishing you a very happy retirement.”
A Facebook user who once shared the same flight with David said, “Take a good rest, Nicol. You earned it. Met you once in the flight. Such a pleasant and humble person.”
We truly appreciate and proud to have you playing our country for many years, David. Thank you for putting us on the map, Queen of Squash!
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