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Malaysia’s Nicol David named Greatest Athlete of All Time

By Kng Zheng Guan  NEW STRAITS TIMES February 1, 2021

 Nicol David was named as the World Games’ Greatest Athlete of All Time. - NSTP/File picNicol David was named as the World Games’ Greatest Athlete of All Time. – NSTP/File pic

KUALA LUMPUR: Eight-time world champion Nicol David has been ceremoniously crowned the World Games’ Greatest Athlete of All Time.

In an online poll voting, the 37-year-old was by far the popular choice as she tallied a whopping 318,943 votes to take home the award.

In a distant second was Ireland’s tug-of-war athlete, James Kehoe, who had 113,120 votes; while Ukraine’s powerlifter Larysa Solovlova came third with 80,790 votes.

The award is a great recognition to the Penangite who has won everything that has to be won before retiring in 2019.

Among her achievements are three World Games gold medals in Duisburg (2005), Kaohsiung (2009) and Cali (2013).

“It’s a huge honour to be nominated by the World Games for this award and to gain so much support from everyone in Malaysia and the squash community,” said Nicol.

“It certainly came as a surprise to see me amongst these top athletes, and I’m grateful for this.

“Hopefully, this award can elevate more attention for the future of squash, and it’s also a proud moment for Malaysia and Asia.”

World Squash Federation (WSF) president Zena Woolridge also chipped in by congratulating Nicol for her latest achievement.

“Nicol has beaten a number of distinguished athletes to first place, and her victory is recognition of a wonderful career that saw her break numerous records,” said Woolridge.

“Not only is Nicol one of the greatest athletes of all time, she is also a tremendous role model for thousands of people across the globe and a true ambassador of the sport.

“I’m delighted to see the support Nicol enjoyed from our passionate and loyal squash community and we are all proud to see her named as the World Games’ Greatest Athlete of All Time.”

Throughout an illustrious career that spanned nearly 20 years, Nicol had won the world title a record eight times and also holds the record of being the longest standing World No. 1 after holding on to the spot for 108 consecutive months.

She had also won two Commonwealth Games gold medals and a total of seven Asian Games titles.

On the Professional Squash Association (PSA) Tour, Nicol had amassed 81 titles, with her last title being the Ciudad de Floridablanca Open in Colombia in 2017.

Currently, Nicol is based in Colombia and has also been heavily involved in programmes that encourage girls and women in sports.


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