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Coll And King Win Barfoot And Thompson National Champs Again

Joelle King with sponsor Peter Thompson of Barfoot and Thompson

Paul Coll and Joelle King continued their domination of New Zealand Squash after winning their respective national titles for yet another year

For King it was her eighth national title as she defeated second seed Amanda Landers-Murphy from Rotorua 11-2, 11-4, 11-6, not that she knew how many titles she had won.

“Eight? Really. I didn’t know that. I thought it was seven. It’s actually hard to play Amanda. She’s such a nice person. It’s hard to play someone you really like. It’s nice to play in New Zealand which I hadn’t done for a while, so it was great to play in front on a home crowd. It’s pretty cool to win your national title,” said King who is now going to take a little bit more time to relax and look at her future season before she heads back to her base in the Northern Hemisphere.

“I’m going to take a little bit longer to rest and look at how to approach the new season.”

King, 30 dominated Landers-Murphy who struggled to find any rhythm as the top seed kept up the pace of the match and had an answer to anything her opponent hit at her.

In the men’s final it was the man from Greymouth, 27-year-old Coll, winning his fifth title as he overcame second seed and one of the most consistent men of the sport over the past few years, Campbell Grayson 11-3, 11-7, 11-4 controlling the pace of the game and never letting the Grayson work the front of the court. On the rare occasion Grayson gained the front he found the retrieving ability of his rival frustrating to say the least.

The large crowd at Unitec in Auckland were impressed to see players ranked as high as No.6 in the world work the points in both men’s and women’s final and lead the way for the future.

One of the pleasing aspects of the tournament was the emergence of several younger professional players such as Lwamba Chileshe, but also the return of former pros, Megan Craig and Lana Harrison who came back into the game after having children and made the semifinals.

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