Sivasangari's golden dream for 2028 Olympics

KUALA LUMPUR: National No. 1 squash player S. Sivasangari's ultimate goal is to win a gold medal at the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics.

Squash will offer two gold in the men's and women's individual events in the Olympics.

And the United States-based Sivasangari received a big boost ahead of the Olympics as she was appointed sporting ambassador of CIMB today.

Sivasangari joins track cyclist Azizulhasni Awang and professional golfer Ervin Chang in CIMB's roster of elite athletes association.

The partnership signing ceremony today was witnessed by Sports Minister Hannah Yeoh and Effendy Shahul Hamis, CIMB chief executive officer Group Consumer and Digital Banking, CIMB Group.

Sivasangari thanked CIMB for the yearly sponsorship of cash and in kind. And she hopes the sponsorships will continue until the 2028 Olympics.

The 25-year-old, ranked 15 in the world, said her ultimate goal is to win gold in the LA Olympics.

"With the latest backing of CIMB and support of loved ones, I am more determined to create history in the Olympics.

"You always have to have the belief in yourself that you can do it. If you don't put the goal there, then the question is why I am doing it.

"It is every squash player's dream to win the Olympic gold medal, and even the juniors four years later will have the same dream.

"I have four more years and I will work as hard as I can to achieve my dream. With the right support from the National Sports Council, National Sports Institute, and Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia, I believe I can do it.

"I want to do well at the Olympics and definitely my coaches also want to see me do well."

Asked whether she will continue to stay in the United States until the Olympics in 2028, she said that is a tough question to answer.

"I prefer to stay and train in Cornell but I still come back and train with national players in Malaysia.

"I will still train with my coach, and there might be a few changes here and there.

"My goal this season is to break into the top 10 but I don't want to put much pressure on myself. If there is too much, then I won't be able to perform.

"There are players who are ranked higher than me but my matches with them are very close. But the breakthrough is more of my mental game and I always think that I can beat them.

"I need to work more on my mental strength and once I get the confidence level up, then I can do much better in matches.

"I am working with coach David Palmer in the United States, who I trust a lot. When I was back in Malaysia, I trained with coach Ajaz Azmat.

"My coaches Palmer and Ajaz have played a big part in helping me to be a strong and successful player.

"It's a big responsibility for me to represent Malaysia and also CIMB in competitions.

"I had a car crash in June, 2022 and faced a major setback. But with the support of incredible individuals who kept me going, I was able to make a comeback. And I thanked them all for all their support."

Yeoh said she is pleased to see CIMB reinforcing their commitment to empowering highly potential youth in sports as well as developing world class athletes.

"CIMB support is realised through her (Sivasangari's ) achievements including her enlisting in the Road to Gold Programme Fast Track programme.

Effendy said: "This is sort of a homecoming for Sivasangari. We have tracked her all of her career and we are pleased that she and her family have agreed to continue partnering with us as she sets her sights on the future.

"She has the mindset and tenacity of a winner, and I expect her to be the source of immense pride for the nation."

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