He’s been the world No.1, has a British and World Open in his collection and a swag of Commonwealth Games medals – but the one thing missing from the stellar resume of Australian great David Palmer is what has driven the 38-year-old for a final crack in Glasgow.
Palmer will compete in his fifth Commonwealth Games – chasing an elusive gold medal in what will be his last competition on the international stage.
He will partner with Cameron Pilley in the men’s doubles and fellow veteran Rachael Grinham in the mixed doubles, using an exhibition match and coaching sessions in Canberra on Sunday as the ideal warm-up.
Palmer retired from the world tour in 2011 to concentrate on his business interests in the US and to spend more time with his family.
“We did a couple [of] doubles camps in the last 12 months and they charged the court a little bit, made it a bit bigger, which I enjoyed playing on,” Palmer said.
“If I was off the pace or not competitive, I wouldn’t have pushed for a spot, but out of all the players I felt I was still able to compete at a high level. A gold medal is one of the few things I don’t have.”
Palmer made his Commonwealth Games debut in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur.
He won bronze in Manchester in 2002 in the singles and men’s doubles, a silver in the singles and bronze in the mixed and men’s doubles in Melbourne in 2006 and a silver in the men’s doubles in Delhi in 2010.
“I felt I didn’t have enough time to put enough training in for the singles, whereas doubles isn’t as hard physically,” Palmer said. “I still feel like I’m hitting the ball very well.
“There are a lot of young guys who deserve a go in the singles and I’ve been there and done that.”
Palmer and Pilley are the No.2 seeds in the men’s doubles.
Palmer said Pilley had a ”decent chance” of winning gold in the men’s singles, while all three Australian women in the singles – Kasey Brown, Grinham and Donna Urquhart – are capable of challenging for a medal.