Nicol David, who in 2005 became the youngest ever winner of the Women's World Open Squash Championship title, has now become the youngest Malaysian to be conferred a Datukship in her home state of Penang.
The 24-year-old world number one received the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri (DSPN) - which carries the title Datuk - from the Penang Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas.
"This is truly an honour to receive this title from the State government of Penang," said David after receiving the Malaysian senior order of chivalry title (believed to be the equivalent of a British knighthood).
"It really took me by surprise when I was informed that I would be getting a Datukship. I'm very grateful that the Penang State appreciates my achievements and supports me in my squash career."
Mike Ricketts, Vice President Asia Pacific of Prince Sports, added his congratulations to the brand's most honoured player: "Nicol has been an outstanding ambassador for Prince and the game of Squash. Nicol will be the youngest Datuk in Malaysia and the only woman to receive this honour while still competing. It is only fitting that her remarkable on court achievements have been recognised in this way by her home country, Malaysia."
The award is the latest in a succession of accolades for Nicol David, surely already the sport's most honoured player of all-time!
In June, David became the first recipient of the "Order of Merit" award, conferred upon her by the King of Malaysia Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin. The award was established in 1975 and is limited to 10 recipients who have made significant contributions in arts, science and humanity in Malaysia.
In December, Nicol David was voted Asian Sportswoman of the Year in the inaugural awards launched by the Asian Sports Press Union. The award followed the World Squash Awards in London where the Penangite was honoured as WISPA Player of the Year for the third year in a row!
Nicol David secured her third British Open title in May and rounded off her second complete year as world number this month. Winning the Seoul Open title in South Korea in June brought her career WISPA World Tour title tally to 28 - more than any other player on the current Tour.
Nicol David's racquet choice is the Prince O3 Speedport Black. Since joining the brand in 2005, David has established a remarkable record - reaching the finals in 25 of the 27 WISPA World Tour events in which she has competed!
Nicol will be defending her Malaysian Open title later this month before heading for the Singapore Masters which will be held between 30 July and 2 August.
photo Getty Images
photo Getty Images