Malaysia's world number one Nicol David will be inducted into the World Squash Federation Hall of Fame as part of the World Squash Awards programme at the World Open Championship/WSF AGM dinner in Rotterdam on Saturday (5 November).
The 28-year-old from Penang, who is going for a record sixth women's World Open title in the Dutch city this week, will be inducted by compatriot HRH Tunku Imran, the WSF Patron and IOC member who himself is a former Malaysian national squash champion.
Nicol David is enjoying a distinguished career in Squash: After becoming the first ever double winner of the biennial world junior title in 2001, Nicol went on begin an unbroken reign at the top of the world rankings in August 2006 - in March this year becoming the second longest-standing world number one of all-time. She already has 55 World Tour titles to her credit, and equalled mentor Sarah Fitz-Gerald's five world title record last year.
Nicol has almost single-handedly put squash on the map in her home country - and earlier this year won a record eighth Malaysian Sportswoman of the Year award. She won her first of three (quadrennial) Asian Games gold medals in 1998, aged just 15, and in April this year claimed her eighth successive (biennial) Asian Championship crown.
On hearing of her WSF Hall of Fame induction, Nicol said: "It is great to be recognised while I am still competing - and to have my achievements compared with the top players in history.
"It is truly fantastic and I am really honoured.
"But even though I have been playing the professional circuit for over ten years this honour doesn't mean I plan to finish yet!" added the hugely popular Penangite.
Past WSF Hall of Fame winners are:
F.D. Amr Bey - Egypt (6 British Open titles: 1933-1938)Janet Shardlow (Morgan) - England (10 British Open titles: 1950-1959)Hashim Khan - Pakistan (7 British Open titles: 1951-1958)Jonah Barrington - Ireland (6 British Open titles: 1967-1973)Heather McKay (Blundell) - Australia (2 World & 16 British Open titles: 1962-1979)Geoff Hunt - Australia (7 World Open/Individual & 8 British Open titles: 1967-1981)Susan Devoy - New Zealand (4 World Open & 8 British Open titles: 1984-1992)Jahangir Khan - Pakistan (8 World Open/Individual & 10 British Open titles: 1979-1991)Michelle Martin - Australia (3 World Open & 6 British Open titles: 1993-2000)Jansher Khan - Pakistan (8 World Open & 6 British Open titles: 1987-2000)Sarah Fitz-Gerald - Australia (5 World Open & 2 British Open titles: 1996-2002)
photos Janos Schmidt