KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s squash queen Datuk Nicol David created a new world record for the length of time a squash player who has topped the world rankings, after marking her 106th month as world number one in the latest February Women’s Squash Association (WSA) list.
The 31-year-old Penangite, who became World Number One in January 2006, overtook the 105-month record set in February 1993 by New Zeland’s Susan Devoy, who was World Champion four times and British Open champion eight times.
According to www.squashsite.co.uk, Nicol collected 3,446 points while Egyptian Raneem El Welily was world number two with 2,580 points followed by England’s Laura Massaro with 2,145 points in third place.
The record was saluted at JP Morgan Tournament of Champions, held in January in New York where the tournament chairman John Nimick and Associate Director Beth Rasin presented Nicol with a congratulatory poster signed by the rest of the world’s top players.
“Nicol’s accomplishments place her among the greatest athletes in history and she has certainly elevated our sport.
“Nicol’s passion for the game and her desire to always be the best she can be inspires us all,” he said.
This month also sees Nicol extend her unbroken reign at the top of the world rankings to 103 months since August 2006, 45 months ahead of Devoy.
WSA Chief Executive Tommy Berden said that Nicol’s achievement was a fabulous accomplishment that deserves to be recognised.
“To become number one in the world is a unique and outstanding performance in itself, but to hold the top spot for 106 months is simply astonishing,” he added.
Meanwhile, Nicol said: “Being number one is something you have to earn every day. For me, it is really about playing the tournaments. Everything else is a bonus.”
Nicol’s phenomenal achievement is the latest milestone in a glittering career which has included a record eight World Championship titles, two Commonwealth Games gold medals and four (quadrennial) Asian Games gold medals. – BERNAMA