London, Feb 1, 2015: Malaysian Nicol David has created a new world record for the length of time a squash player has topped the world rankings after marking her 106th month as world number one in the February Women’s World Squash Rankings published by the Women’s Squash Association.
The 31-year-old from Penang, who first headed the WSA list in January 2006, overtakes the 105-month record set in February 1993 by Susan Devoy, the four-time World Champion and eight-time British Open champion from New Zealand.
David’s phenomenal achievement is the latest milestone in a glittering career which has included a record eight World Championship titles, two Commonwealth Games gold medals and four (quadrennial) Asian Games gold medals. This month also sees Datuk David extend her unbroken reign at the top of the world rankings to 103 months since August 2006 – 45 months ahead of her nearest rival, Dame Devoy!
The record was saluted at last month’s JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York, where Tournament Chairman John Nimick and Associate Director Beth Rasin presented David with a congratulatory poster signed by the rest of the world’s top players.
“Nicol’s accomplishments place her among the greatest athletes in history, and she has certainly elevated our sport,” said Nimick (pictured above with David and Rasin) as he identified other No.1 record holders, including golfer Tiger Woods(138 months), 400 metre hurdler Edwin Moses (132 months); snooker’s Stephen Hendry (108 months) and tennis player Steffi Graf (94 months).
“Nicol’s passion for the game and her desire to always be the best she can be inspires us all.”
WSA Chief Executive Tommy Berden praised the Tour’s biggest star: “To become number one in the world is a unique and outstanding performance in itself, but to hold the top spot for 106 months is simply astonishing.
“It’s a fabulous accomplishment that deserves to be recognised and I am delighted that the Tournament of Champions took the liberty to put Nicol in the limelight for yet another one of her remarkable achievements!”
Amr Shabana, the four-time world champion from Egypt who headed the men’s world rankings for 33 months between 2006 and 2008, noted: “I have known Nicol since she was 11 years old and, even then, I knew she was special. What she has done in squash is amazing ….. and she isn’t done yet!”
David herself was characteristically modest: “Being number one is something you have to earn every day,” said the Malaysian superstar. “For me, it is really about playing the tournaments. Everything else is a bonus.”
Whilst Raneem El Welily (Egypt), Laura Massaro (England), Nour El Sherbini (Egypt) and Alison Waters(England) retain positions two to five, respectively, 21-year-old Egyptian Nour El Tayeb jumps two places to a career-high No.6 in the February WSA rankings.
England’s 29-year-old Emma Beddoes, who notched her 15th WSA World Tour final appearance in 2014, is also rewarded with a best-ever ranking of 15.
February 2015 top 20 (inc. points average):
||Raneem El Welily
||Nour El Sherbini
||Nour El Tayeb
||Low Wee Wern
||Omneya Abdel Kawy