By ALAN THATCHER
Nicol David continued her quest to continually raise the bar in athletic achievement when she won her sixth World Open title in her adopted home of The Netherlands, where she is coached by Australian Liz Irving.
In the final the Malaysian superstar overwhelmed her English opponent, Jenny Duncalf, winning 11-2, 11-5, 11-0 on the glass court in front of a full-house audience at the Luxor Theatre in Rotterdam.
Not only did she overtake the record she had jointly held with her mentor, Sarah Fitzgerald of Australia, she also chose the perfect stage to support squash’s bid for a place in the 2020 Olympic Games.
She said: “I would swap all of those six World Open titles for one Olympic gold medal.”
You can’t say it any clearer than that.
If that’s the message from one of the leading squash players of all time, and one who clearly has the desire to win many more major championships to further enhance an already-astonishing career CV, then the sport has a collective responsibility to support her (and the WSF).
In my view, tennis and golf do not need to be in the Olympics. Their presence is a commercial one, designed to sell TV time and bring in sponsors.
However, if you wish to equate Olympic ideals with the genuine, worldwide spread of a game like squash, and the genuine passion and desire of the sport’s leading athletes to be part of it, then we deserve to be part of the show.
I just hope Nicol is able to extend her career to 2020 to take her rightful place on an Olympic stage.