Eight-time squash world champion Nicol David has been crowned the World Games' Greatest Athlete of All Time.

The 37-year-old Penangite emerged tops after garnering 318,945 online votes cast, far ahead of Ireland tug of war athlete James Kehoe and Ukrainian powerlifter Larysa Soloviova, who placed second and third with 113,120 votes and 80,970 votes, respectively, reported The Star.

It is worth noting that Nicol is the only Asian athlete shortlisted for the award. Twenty-three past and present athletes representing various sports worldwide were selected for the global poll, and 10 were shotlisted for the finals.

A total of 1,204,637 votes were cast during the polls.

Nicol hung up her racquet in 2019 after an illustrious career in squash spanning almost two decades, and winning eight world titles between 2005 and 2014.

Between 2006 and 2015, Nicol reigned supreme in the sport's women's world rankings, and won 81 professional titles.

Meanwhile, the New Straits Times (NST) quoted Nicol expressing gratitude for being nominated for the award.

"Hopefully, this award can elevate more attention for the future of squash, and it's also a proud moment for Malaysia and Asia."

World Squash Federation (WSF) president Zena Woolridge also called Nicol's win well deserved, as she was a "tremendous role model and true ambassador" for squash.

Nicol is currently based in Colombia, where she is involved in programmes to encourage girls and women to excel in sports.

Source: The Star, NST
Photo source: Rojakdaily