OCTOGENARIAN Dr Ee Chong Sen, 81, showcased his enduring squash skills at the Nicol David International Squash Centre when he clinched two gold medals in the inaugural Penang Masters Open over the weekend.
Although declared the champion by virtue of being the only player in the over 80 age group, he was given the opportunity to participate in the lower age groups.
While Dr Ee, a retired chemist and former undisputed Penang champion in the early 80s, faced faster opponents, glimpses of his past brilliance were evident.
“I took up squash at 35 when I moved from Kuala Lumpur to Penang. There was a squash court in my company (Malaysia Smelting Corporation Berhad). Now, I take part to support the event and have some fun.
“I would jog and do court runs when I was a competitive player. What I do now is play social squash three times a week with friends at the Penang Sports Club. I supposed I have no problems taking up squash as I have the foundation from playing several games before, like badminton, football, and table tennis.
‘I am still interested in squash and I want to stay active. Squash can be hard on the knees, so I opt for Squash 57. When you retire, it doesn’t mean doing nothing. Your muscles lose flexibility and strength if you do so,” said Dr Ee, who has six grandchildren.
Squash Rackets Association of Penang (SRAP) president Datuk Linda Geh expressed her delight at Dr Ee’s presence.
“His presence is an inspiration for the younger ones to continue playing.
“The tournament offers a platform for those age 35 and above to continue playing into their later years and also to attract more participants for a wider variety of games.
“We hope to continue growing this event to the level of success comparable to our Penang Junior Open.
“The SRAP would like to congratulate all participants and winners for a strong showing this week and hopes to see everyone again next year.
“This year, we are incredibly grateful to be supported by Zizi Group of Companies,” Geh said.
The championships drew approximately 40 players, including from Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand and Switzerland.
The participants included national squash coach Kenny Foo, Thailand coach James Bentick, former top Singaporean player Udei Singh and SRAP adviser Datuk Seri Lim Tiong Chin.
Also present at the championships were Penang State Sports Council director Harry Chai and Zizi Group chief executive officer Danial Zulkifli.
Men’s 80+: 1. Dr Ee Chong Sen.
Men’s 65+: 1. Colin Robertson.
Men’s 55+: 1. James Bentick, 2. Tan Tian Huat, 3. Dennis Tan.
Men’s 50+: 1. Udei Singh, 2. Shanizam Samsuri, 3. Tang Kien Wai.
Men’s 45+: 1. Kenny Foo, 2. Khoo Teng Hin, 3. Steve Wang.
Men’s 35+: 1. Aaron Soyza, 2. Megat Hasnul, 3. Sim Teong Sin.
Women’s 50+: 1. Teh Chiew Peng, 2. Linda Geh.
Men’s 80+: 1. Dr Ee Chong Sen.
Men’s 70+: 1. Lim Tiong Chin.
Men’s 65+: 1. Chee Kok Ken.
Men’s 60+: 1. Quah Teik Huat, 2. Ng Teik Ee, 3. Boon Huck Wai.
Men’s 55+: 1. Dennis Tan, 2. Michael Leong, 3. Pang Teng Chen.
Men’s 50+: 1. Udei Singh, 2. Eddy Ng, 3. Lim Shyang Huei.
Men’s 45+: 1. Kenny Foo, 2. Khoo Teng Hin, 3. Goh Kien Huang.
Men’s 35+: 1. Aaron Soyza, 2. Ahmad Rizal Che Din.
Women’s 60+: 1. Heng Lee Keng.
Women’s 50+: 1. Teh Chiew Peng.
Women’s 45+: 1. Liew Su Ying.
Women’s 35+: 1. Lam Ee Wei, 2. Maneejeet Kaur Jasal, 3. Wilma Jee.
Story by K.H. Ong
Pix courtesy of Squash Rackets Association of Penang