Squash legend Nicol David of Malaysia announced on Monday that she would be hanging up her racquet bringing to a close an illustrious playing career in squash.
Since making her debut on the international stage in 1996 when she won the British Junior U14 Open title as a 12-year-old, this formidable woman from Penang has blazed a phenomenal trail through the sport, creating record after record.
Now 35, Nicol became the first player to win two world junior titles in 2001 before going on to accumulate a record eight senior individual world titles amongst a total of 81 PSA World Tour titles from 102 final appearances.
In 2015, Nicol established a record 109-month unbroken run as world No.1 – and in Malaysia she is recognised as the country’s most successful Asian Games athlete with 7 gold medals (5 individual and 2 in team championships) in the quadrennial event.
Nicol was inducted into the World Squash Federation ‘Hall of Fame’ in 2011.
In the statement issued in Malaysia, Nicol said: “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 recognised 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.
“This is a moment that every athlete must go through – to explore fully on what more there is in store for them. I am now at this point in my life, ready to take on more beyond the pro tour.
“Throughout these next few months till the end of the seasonal tour in June, I will be sharing through my ‘The Dream Remains’ campaign, everything that my life in squash has given me.”
Andrew Shelley, CEO of the World Squash Federation, said: “Nicol’s playing record speaks for itself. She had already become a legend several years ago. Her results have been very special, but so is she.”