KUALA LUMPUR: National squash player, Darren Rahul Pragasam is ready for the Philippines SEA Games in November and was more mature in absorbing the pressure on the court.
The 20-year-old, who will make his second appearance at the biennial Games, looks forward to put on his best performance in the Philippines and wants to make amend of his defeat in the 2017 edition in Kuala Lumpur. The Negeri Sembilan-born player, who lost to Philippines’ Rafael Yam in the semi-finals as he failed to absorb the pressure, noted that it was a valuable lesson for him.“This will be my second SEA Games and the first one didn’t go according to plan. This time I will definitely be more focused. I feel like I’m more matured and with the help of my team, I will be more focused.
“We are aware that the other teams are strong but we put hard work. So we just need to focus on what we have to do on the court. I think if we play our best abilities, nothing is impossible,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Squash Racquet Association of Malaysia (SRAM) sticks to the stand to clean sweep all four gold medals at stake during the Games. Besides the gold medals, SRAM is also eyeing three silver medals in four events, namely the men’s and women’s singles, mixed doubles and mixed teams event.
SRAM has taken a drastic step to feature young and budding players such as Addeen Idrakie, Ong Sai Hung, Darren and Ryan Pasqual, while the women’s squad will be represented by Rachel Arnold, Chan Yiwen, Lai Wen Li and Ooi Kah Yan. “There’s no reason why there are no elite players because we have an agreement with them (the organiser) where we don’t normally bring the top team.
“If we send the top team, the other country will not take part and most probably the event will be dropped from the SEA Games. We don’t want that to happen,” said its coaching director, Major (R) S. Subramaniam. – Bernama