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PENANG, July 12 (Bernama) -- She not only squashed her opponents to become the world number one women's squash player but Nicol Ann David now has the distincion of being the youngest person in Penang to be conferred a datukship.

Nicol, the three-time British Open champion, said she was surprised by the news yesterday that she will be among the 497 people to be conferred state awards in conjuction with Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Abdul Rahman Abbas' 70th birthday celebrations today.

"I am very happy to be here today, and to be recognised by the state government would boost my form in the upcoming tournament," she told reporters after receiving her Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri (DSPN) which carries the title "Datuk" at Dewan Sri Pinang here, Saturday.

Nicol will be defending her Malaysia Open title this year from July 21 to 26 before heading for the Singapore Masters which will be held from July 27 to Aug 2.

Early last month, the 'Squash Queen' was also the first recipient to be conferred the `Order of Merit' from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.