The Kiwi squash team has struck double gold at the WSF World Doubles Championships in Darwin, Australia. The team of Joelle King, Amanda Landers-Murphy, Paul Coll and Campbell Grayson picked up a gold medal in the mixed and women’s events and a bronze medal in the men’s event.
Joelle King, winner of a gold and silver medal at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010 featured in two of those wins claiming a gold medal with Amanda Landers-Murphy in the women’s final and a gold medal with Paul Coll in the mixed final.
In the men’s doubles Paul Coll and Campbell Grayson claimed a bronze medal after they went down to the Australian pairing in the semi-final.
It has been an intense week of squash in Darwin with 23 matches played between the four players over 4 days. The final medal tally is an outstanding performance for the team and sets them well on track for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games in 2018.
Glen Wilson, a former NZ player who won a Mixed Doubles Gold Medal at the Commonwealth Games with Leilani Rorani in 2002, was facing his first assignment as a manager / coach for a NZ team. He was full of praise for the team who he said played superbly throughout the event. “In the finals they out muscled and dominated their opponents with relentless pressure and accuracy to take out comfortable wins,” said Wilson.
Squash New Zealand chair Greg McKeown had this to say about the performance of the Kiwis.
“This is a pinnacle event in the context of our sport and we are looking up and in the right direction towards the Commonwealth Games in 2018. Squash had its funding cut after some near losses in the last Commonwealth Games. Now we are back in the medals hopefully our funding will be positively reviewed towards the end of the year.”
McKeown says that redistributing just a few of the big bucks currently thrown into a bigger sports would make a huge difference to the high performance programmes of other deserving codes.
(pictured – World Doubles Championships Team – Left to Right Amanda Landers-Murphy, Campbell Grayson, Paul Coll, Joelle King, Front Glen Wilson Coach/Manager)