Great Day for Australia as CWG Squash 2018 concludes
It was a good day for hosts Australia and for the singles gold medalists as the Gold Coast Games Squash concluded at Oxendale Studios with two more medals
Rachael Grinham & Donna Urquhart started the day by claiming Bronze in the Women’s event , and David Palmer & Zac Alexander finished it by taking Men’s Gold. In between England’s James Willstrop & Declan James took men’s Bronze and Joelle King & Amanda Landers-Murphy collected women’s Gold for New Zealand.
The women’s Bronze match saw Grinham & Urquhart -although by all accounts it was mostly Grinham – beat Massaro & Perry in two quick games, but English success came as Willstrop and James got the better of second seeded Scots Clyne & Lobban in two close games, the match finishing on a ‘no let’.
James said : “We never go through the emotion of losing at squash, then having to play again. It was reconciliation today – we still realised there’s a huge amount to play for and we said fourth is going to feel a hell of a lot worse than third is.
In the Women’s Final King & Landers-Murphy pulled away from 3-all in the opening game to take the lead, and with Landers-Murphy slotting in a series of winners, took a 6-2 lead in the second. Defending champions Pallikal & Chinappa fought back to level at 7-all, but the Kiwis pulled away again and on their second match ball claimed the gold medal – also on a ‘no let’ decision.
“When you play such a big match, on such an occasion – against a quality team – and come out on top, it’s unbelievable,” said King. “Amanda is the dark horse of the team, she’s the quiet achiever and she’s carried me most of the week, I’m really happy for her and proud that she’s put in the effort and got the reward.
“Probably a year ago, three medals would have been beyond my wildest dreams – but the way this year has been going, I wanted three golds to be honest. But to come away with two golds and a bronze is pretty amazing. I’m on cloud nine at the moment.”
In the decider, with both teams frequently firing the ball down the middle, some costly English errors helped the Aussies, who were both firing in winners, to move ahead to 9-4, then Palmer finished it off with a powerful drive on their second match ball.
“I was just trying to hang in there, Adrian Waller was outplaying me big time,” said Palmer on collecting his third Gold and record 9th CWG Squash medal. “They outplayed us in the second game – in the third game we had to control the game . We clicked just a few minutes into that last game, and started to play down the middle a bit more – and that worked well. It was huge.”
‘’I am really happy I could pick up my game in the third, get on a roll and get the crowd behind us. There can’t be any better way for me to finish – I’m definitely not coming back for 2022, I’m going to finish on a high!”