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Sunday, April 11, 2021

7-Continent Challenge: Flying visit to Oz

Alan Thatcherhttps://squashmad.com
Founder of World Squash Day, Squash Mad and the new Squash 200 Partnership, building clubs of the future. Founder of the Kent Open and co-promoter of the St. James's Place Canary Wharf Classic. Author and Public Speaker.

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7aaronA speedy stay in Sydney and it’s onto Malaysia for the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge

Peter Nicol MBE and Tim Garner’s bid to complete seven squash matches on seven continents in seven days as part of the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge hit breakneck pace on Tuesday. The pair spent just 13 hours on Australian soil, fitting in a match at Sydney’s Willoughby Club on the Australian leg of their journey before heading to Kuala Lumpur to continue their quest.

A technical problem with their connecting flight from Santiago, Chile stranded the pair in Auckland and cut down the time in Sydney, which created yet more pressure on their already impossibly tight schedule. “I think the lady at immigration was amused to be dealing with a couple of mad squash players that were only going to be in the country for the day!,” said Garner. 

Somehow the pair fitted in a series of media interviews to promote squash’s bid to become part of the 2020 Olympic Games as well as playing in front of an enthusiastic crowd of well-wishers at the Willoughby Club. Garner won match three of the series 3-1 (13/15 11/5 11/8 11/9) 45 Minutes and now leads the squash competition 2-1, with four matches to come in Kuala Lumpur, Cairo, London and New York.

“Kuala Lumpur is a fantastic city and Malaysia is a such a proud squash nation, having produced incredible players like (current women’s No.1) Nicol David, so we’re delighted to be able to play there,” Nicol. 

After a relatively short 8-hour flight to KL, Nicol and Garner will play at the National Sports Complex in Kuala Lumpur at 7pm local time on Wednesday. From there they will head to Cairo before briefly touching down at home in London en route to the final stop at Chelsea Piers in Connecticut, USA. Since Saturday they have completed matches in the Falkands, Chile and Australia.

As well as highlighting squash’s 2020 Olympic Bid, the Xodus 7 Continent Challenge is fundraising for two causes: The LV= SOS Kit Aid Scheme and Natasha’s Steps, a trust set up help young squash player Natasha Drake who is recovering from an idiopathic bleed on her brain. Click here to donate: http://www.justgiving.com/7CC

Video coverage here: http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1757144/Olympic-bid-squashes-seven-games-in-a-week

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