On 7th June 2008, the World No 1 in women's squash Nicol David was honoured by His Majesty The King of Malaysia in conjunction with His Majesty's Birthday.The award of Darjah Bakti was bestowed on here. This an unique award for Malaysians who are famous in their field and in Nicol's case, she achieved her World's No 1 ranking in January 2006 and currently she is still No 1.
Indeed Malaysia's Prime Minister Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, a fellow Penangite quipped that Nicol is now more famous than him. A commendation of the highest order for this young lady, born on 26th August 1983 in Penang.
Daughter to Desmond David, an engineer and Ann Marie, a retired teacher, she has 2 other sisters who are also excellent squash players. Nicol seems to be an all round person as she has also done well in her SPM with 7 As. It is this sort of combination that gives her the character of consistent performance to maintain the World ranking.
In Penang, Nicol's father is a known sportsman in football and hockey. More so is her Uncle, Derrick David who was the youngest hockey player to appear for Malaya in the 50s. Therefore there is some sporting pedigree in Nicol's family tree, but without doubt Nicol has just taken off to World status. Mind you, she is ranked No 1 and the first Asian to do so.
To list all the titles she has won would be time consuming. One thing you can be sure is that it is numerous prior to turning professional in 2000. Since then she has walked away with 28 Women International Squash Professional Association (WISPA) titles. Her statistics as at April 2008 shows a 35% tournament win and is WISPA titlist leader.
Nicknamed the " Duracell Bunny ", her court craft is excellent as she covers the court in lightning speed and is a aggressive attacking player. She is the only Malaysian to win a World title for the 2nd consecutive time. Even interesting is that she is the 4th person in history to retain the world championship. To supplement to this record, she held a 13 month, 51 match winning streak ending in April 2007.
The question is why Nicol is able to give such a consistent performance at the world stage. This sort of performance is not seen in our other world rated stars. It is probably her mental attitude and the passion to remain in the World No 1 ranking. Something the other Malaysian athlete must learn from her.
Congratulations Nicol on being bestowed the award by His Majesty and thank you for flying Malaysia's flag.
( Source of most of the information is from Wikipedia )