National squash player Abang Muhammad Huzairie Abang Ali (L) during a recent training session at the Squash Centre of the Hassanal Bolkiah National Sports Complex in Berakas. BT/Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
There will be no rest for national squash players in the month of Ramadhan as they are preparing for a number of regional tournaments in the coming months.
Speaking to The Brunei Times yesterday, Abang Muhammad Huzairie Abang Ali said that the team is as determined as ever and is hoping to add to their recent success by performing well at the upcoming events.
"Training continues as usual for us in the evening this month," said Abang Muhammad Huzairie. "We have quite a number of invitations this time around. We've got the Sibu leg of the 2014 Sarawak Squash Circuit in August and the Kuching leg in September.
"We have a lot of tournaments this year and we need to continue our same training programme to prepare for these tournaments," he added. Brunei did well in the Miri leg of the 2014 Sarawak Squash Circuit last month when three of the country's representatives produced a clean sweep in the Division 2 category.
Saiful Rizal Ali won the round-robin format tournament while compatriots Muhd Shavez Cheema and Mohd Kamaluddin Abu Bakar finished second and third respectively. The other Brunei representative at the tournament, Mohsin Khan, finished fifth in the Division 1 category at the June 20-22 tournament at the Pei Min Squash Academy in Miri, Sarawak.
Abang Muhammad Huzairie also said the team has been invited to participate at September's Petaling Jaya Squash Open in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Muhd Shavez Cheema created history when he became the first Bruneian to reach the second round of the Petaling Jaya Squash Open last October.
Muhd Shavez achieved his target of reaching the second round of the tournament after defeating Ahmed Hamez from Malaysia 3-0 in the first round, but he bowed out of the competition after losing 3-0 to Dheez in the second round.
The national squash team has been involved in a number of regional squash tournaments over the past years. Abang Muhammad Huzairie and Hj Mohd Sufri Hj Abdul Hamid recently competed at the 2014 Kijono Cup Open Squash Championship in Jakarta, Indonesia, where they made Brunei proud after reaching the quarter-finals of the May 15-17 tournament at the Gelora Bung Karno Squash Complex.
Abang Muhammad Huzairie also competed in the Division 1 of the 2013 Singapore Squash Invitational Open last December where he finished 14th out of 64 players. Another Bruneian competing in the tournament, Muhd Kamaluddin, also finished in the top half of the division in 24th place.
According to Abang Muhammad Huzairie in the previous report in The Brunei Times, Brunei has been invited by Singapore to send a team of four players to participate in the 2015 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
Brunei's squash players are looking to keep their momentum going this year by competing in more tournaments for a chance to fly the flag for the Sultanate at next year's SEA Games.