Wednesday January 16, 2013
Veteran Ong hopes for a good run in the United States
By KNG ZHENG GUAN
PETALING JAYA: National No. 1 squash player Ong Beng Hee is ready to prove that age is not going to be a hindrance as he prepares for a good start to the year.
The 32-year-old Beng Hee experienced a rather mixed season last year, winning a title – the Motor City Open – in January but quickly lost his form as he suffered a string of first round defeats.
This time, the world No. 20 is ready to defy age and put together a run of good results, starting with the Tournament of Champions which begins in New York today. Beng Hee will face a qualifier in the first round.
The Penangite will also be looking forward to defending his title at the Motor City Open from Jan 24-29 in Detroit.
“My preparation for the new season has been rather good since I returned from Harrowgate (England) on Jan 2,” said Beng Hee.
“I’ve been working hard with my coach Dave Pearson and been playing a lot of hard matches.
“Ranking-wise, I might struggle a little next month but I’m hoping to reach the top 16 again by the end of the British Open in May.
“It will definitely be tough since I lost in the first rounds so many times last year,” said Beng Hee, who achieved his career-best ranking of seventh in December 2001.
Beng Hee said it would be tough for him to defend his title at the Motor City Open, which has been upgraded to a US$70,000 (RM210,000) tournament.
World No. 5 Mohamed El Shorbagy of Egypt is the top seed. He is likely to be Beng Hee’s opponent in the quarter-finals.
“I believe anything is possible. I will draw inspiration from 33-year-old Amr Shabana and Nick Matthew, 34. Both of them made it to the final at the World Series Finals two weeks ago,” added Beng Hee.