In a remarkable display of skill, determination, and mental fortitude, Malaysian squash sensation, Sivasangari Subramaniam has clinched double Gold at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, marking a pinnacle in her already illustrious career.
A Riveting Comeback in the Finals
Siva’s journey to victory was nothing short of cinematic. In the singles final, she was persistently trailing but managed to stay within a reachable distance, showcasing her unyielding spirit and tactical prowess. Despite an initial setback with an 8-11 loss in the first set, Siva rallied back, defeating Hong Kong’s Chan Sin Yuk in a gripping five-set battle, ultimately securing her maiden gold in the category. This victory is not just a testament to her athletic capabilities but also a reflection of her resilience, having made a remarkable comeback after a potentially career threatening car accident and demonstrating a level of determination that is truly inspiring
A Golden Streak: Leading the Team to Victory
Earlier in the week, Siva played a pivotal role in leading the Malaysian women’s squash team to a gold medal, being the no. 1 player and orchestrating a stunning victory against reigning champions Hong Kong in the final. The team displayed a classy and strategic play, with Siva producing a dominant performance and routing Ho Tze Lok 11-5, 11-8, 11-6 to level the points, setting the stage for a triumphant finish by the team.
Triumphant Return with the Tuanku Muhriz Trophy
Coming hot off the back of winning the Tuanku Muhriz Trophy 2023, Siva has proven that her mental and physical game is stronger than ever. This win was particularly significant as it marked her first event playing as a full-time professional since graduating from Cornell, and her first PSA title since the Australian Open in 2019. Notably, she did not drop a single game throughout the Tuanku Muhriz Trophy, showing exceptional grit and decisiveness with an average match time of just 21 minutes.
Jesse Engelbrecht, founder of SportMind and Siva’s mental coach, emphasised the importance of the mental fortitude she displayed throughout the tournament, stating,
“This victory isn’t just a testament to Siva’s physical prowess but a clear indication of her mental framework we are building. We’ve been laying a strong emphasis on mental conditioning, and witnessing her handle the enormous pressure of being the top seed and Malaysia’s No.1 at home solidifies our approach.”
Siva goes on to reflect
“I came into the Asian Games reminding myself that the person whose going to win these events has to be the one with the greater mental strength. Everyone is fit, everyone is playing well, everyone has their tactics, but whoever who has the strongest mental strength throughout this whole week will do the best. And I managed to do that! I had a lot of targets put on me, I had more pressure in needing to do well as I was the flag bearer for the Malaysian contingent. I am super grateful that my journey with Jesse is going really well which allowed me to stay composed mentally throughout the whole tournament. He has been a huge help to mental side of the game which allowed me to win 2 gold medals in this huge event, the Asian Games.”
A Story of Resilience
Siva’s story is one of unparalleled resilience. A mere twelve months ago, her return to the tour seemed uncertain after a major car crash near Kuala Lumpur, which led to severe injuries that could have potentially ended her career. Against all odds, she made an astounding recovery and, with the support of her team, has reclaimed her rightful place competing at the top end of her sport.
Siva’s recent victories will undoubtedly inspire other young athletes and contribute to the growth of squash in Malaysia. As the nation continues to produce world-class athletes, the future of Malaysian squash looks bright. With her talent, determination, and competitive spirit, Siva is undoubtedly a player to watch, promising more thrilling matches and potential victories in the future.
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