By Lam Yat Yee
When you put Malaysia and Squash together, the name that pops up is of course, Dato’ Nicol Ann David. Her legacy has been chronicled in official records, introspectives like documentaries and interviews, and countless other media; all for good reason.
However, before Dato’ Nicol Ann David, there was Kuan Choy Lin; a luminary of Malaysia who deserves to be better known and remembered.
Kuan Choy Lin was born in 1975, in Batu Gajah, Ipoh, Perak. At age 14, she picked up the squash racket and hence began her journey to becoming Malaysia’s most formidable female squash champion of her time.
Having trained in KL from the age of 19 to 26, Kuan was the former Malaysian number one in the squash competitive community before Dato’ Nicol Ann David, who was her junior at the time.
Among her innumerable contributions to Malaysia’s name as a squash athlete are her victories at the 1997 and 1999 Sea Games, triumphing with a Bronze and Silver in the individual category respectively, and Gold in the team category for both years.
With a final hurrah in 2000, Kuan’s last year of competing in international championships, she scored Bronze in the Asian Squash Championships.
Over the years, she has also amassed for herself an impressive 9 times, the Perak Closed Champion title and 3 times, the Perak Open Champion title.
Through her competitive squash career, Kuan admitted that the real challenge for her was competing on an international level, where her competitors often had larger builds than her, often rendering her at a disadvantage in terms of power.
In spite of such obstacles, Kuan persevered as any true athlete would, and managed to achieve a world ranking of 34th internationally.
Presently, Kuan resides in Ipoh. With her Asian Squash Federation Coach Level 2 coaching certificate and 20 years of coaching experience, she runs multiple squash coaching classes in Ipoh.
The former national athlete was the Perak State Coach from 2002 to 2006, and then the Chief Coach of Kinetic Squash, a startup of her own.
Kuan also coaches as a part of the WD Squash Programme that pursues a better future for the squash climate in Perak. She aims to lay grassroots to bring rise to a new generation of strong squash players to bring pride to the Malaysian name once more.
“I just wish to try my best to make Perak squash great and healthy again before I retire,” stated the former top athlete.
For inquiries, contact her directly at 016-561 2661 or reach out to 010-575 4149 (En. Sabree).