Junior squash player hungry for more success

Danial posing with Farhani after receiving his trophy. – Photo by Teo Chi Wei

KUCHING: Rising junior star Harith Danial Jefri will be looking to excel in the Majlis Sukan Sekolah Malaysia (MSSM) Squash Championship in Melaka from March 17-23.

He is among the 18 players selected to represent Sarawak in the national meet after winning the Boys U12 singles title in the Majlis Sukan Sekolah (MSS) Sarawak Squash Championship at the Sarawak Squash Centre in Petra Jaya recently.

The primary six pupil from SK Bintang Miri beat teammate Wong Lee Hong 3-0 in the final.

Nationally ranked number one in the Boys U11 last year, Danial also performed creditably to finish 11th position in the U-13 singles at the British Junior Open in Birmingham, United Kingdom last month.

“This is the first time Danial has played in an international competition and this was a golden chance for him to gain valuable experience. I hope he can compete in the British Junior Open again next year,” said his mother Nur Farhani Chang @ Stephanie Chang.

According to her, Danial’s talent was spotted by the national coach who recommended him to study and train at Bukit Jalil Sports School in Kuala Lumpur but she turned down the offer as Danial was still young.

Farhani recalled that her son had suffered food poisoning in a previous competition and after that she had to accompany him whenever he travels to West Malaysia or outside the country.

“Before taking up squash, Danial loved to read books and play Lego blocks. When he entered primary school, he chose squash as an extra-curriculum activity.

“This is because squash is played indoors and you don’t have to worry about the hot sun or rain,” she added.

Some of Danial’s achievements last year included a runner-up finish in the Boys U12 of the MSSM Squash Championship in Selangor, champion in the first and second legs as well as grand finals of the CIMB Foundation Rising Star National Circuit.

He made history by becoming the first Sarawak boy to engrave his name on the Ong Beng Hee Trophy when he won the Boys U11 singles and he was second in the Boys U12 of the Kuala Lumpur Open.

Danial will also be playing in the National Junior Open in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur in April.

He was ranked Asia Boys U11 number one and Boys U13 number eight and is currently Asia Boys U13 number seven and national Boys U13 number one.

The 11-year old, who is turning 12 in May, is coached by Jewan Singh Chal and Muhammad Naveed.

 

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