Gold And Silver Medals At Commonwealth Games Squash For New Zealand10 Apr 2018
Gold and silver at the squash singles finals for New Zealand as Joelle King played an epic match to win her final but Paul Coll found himself beaten by an in-form Englishman in his final.
Women's second seed King took five games to defeat fourth seed Sarah-Jane Perry of England in 80 minutes 16-14, 11-8, 6-11, 11-13, 11-8. In a tight contest throughout.
A close first game had Perry with game ball on a couple of occasions before King came back and was gifted a couple of backhand errors from her opponent hitting into the tin. The second game was more straightforward for the Cambridge-born Kiwi, but the third had the Englishwoman storming back and holding a 6-1 lead before some issues with the referee saw the fourth seed given a warning for time wasting. There was also an injury break for Perry as well. But again she came back and won the game on a couple of King nervous shots.
The fourth game had both players scrapping for points but Perry scoring the vital points when needed.
In the fifth it was King up 5-0 and then 8-5 before the tension appeared to tell for both players. However King was able to keep her focus just enough to wrap up the match and the gold medal.
"It feels pretty good. There's been some great names come through the squash community for NZ and no one's managed to do it yet, it's a privilege really to be the first person to do it. I'm just looking forward to celebrating with my teammates."
"I think finals squash, or any sport in the finals both players just want to give it everything they have and leave everything out on court. She played really well," said King who now has to prepare for doubles matches.
The men's final was the opposite of the women's when it comes to tension as second seed Coll was put away in straight games by England's fourth seed James Willstrop.
The Englishman had been runner-up on two previous occasions at Commonwealth Games singles and looked determined to end that run right from the beginning of the final as he won the match 11-9, 11-4, 11-6 in 42 minutes. Willstrop put on a powerful display, while Coll struggled to control the pace of points.
"Credit to James. He played very well tonight. He's a former No.1 and credit to him, also well done to Joelle for winning her gold. `I'm very happy to have made the final. I couldn't get into my game...and he wouldn't let me into it. It's disappointing. I had more to give today. Iy wasn't my best match. Still going to try and enjoy my silver I got for New Zealand, It will take a bit to get over it. I felt good going into the game. I wasn't hitting my targets" said Coll, 25 who knows he will have more opportunities
to challenge for medals at future Commonwealth Games.
It doesn't stop there for King and Coll. They both have to play two matches, a doubles and a mixed tomorrow. King has her first contest at 11.45 local time with Amanda Landers-Murphy and then with Coll in the mixed at 1.15pm.
Other Kiwis on court include Zac Millar with Landers-Murphy, Coll with Campbell Grayson in the men's doubles while Evan Williams and Lance Beddoes have a bye on the first day on doubles play. Full schedule below.