Karwalski to replace Aussie rival after taking case to Court of Arbitration
AUSTRALIAN squash player Zac Alexander has been dramatically forced to pack his bags and leave the Commonwealth Games after a successful court appeal from the nation’s third-ranked player, Matthew Karwalski.
Karwalski (pictured below right) was only told late on Tuesday night his appeal to sport’s Court of Arbitration was successful and will arrive in Glasgow on tomorrow night.
That means that 25-year-old New York based Alexander, ranked seventh is Australia, has been replaced, quietly slipping from the village after changing his own flights to return home to Australia.
Karwalski had expected to be automatically selected given his third ranking but had to appeal first to Squash Australia and the Court of Arbitration to wrest back his spot.
Karwalski will team up with Ryan Cuskelly in the doubles after a process he described as emotionally stressful.
Australian chef de mission Steve Moneghetti spoke with Alexander about his exit and lauded the “incredible” manner in which he accepted the decision.
“He is an incredible young man. If you talk about people and the way they conduct themselves, Zac Alexander has been exemplary in this process, exemplary. An outstanding Australian. He was so good, I was just amazed at the way he understood the process.
“I chatted to him and made sure he realised it was no reflection on him, and made sure we stood behind him. And at the end of the day he will learn from the experience but he was incredible in the way he accepted it.”
The Australian team was named on May 4, with Karwalski’s dual appeals taking two months to come to a head. He told his local paper he was relieved to be finally elevated into the team.
‘‘It’s quite disappointing for Zac too obviously,’’ Karwalski said. ‘‘I feel really bad for him. His selection was through no fault of his own. I did want to go and try and bring home a medal for Australia and that’s the big picture.’’
The men’s doubles starts next Tuesday, with Cuskelly’s singles campaign starting overnight.
Moneghetti said Alexander was desperate not to upset the Australian team with his departure.
“We talk about the team briefings we are giving and the One Team principle and then this situation comes up that in an effect can be unsettling but he made sure he did it so quietly.
“He didn’t want to have any ruffles to the team, he is an outstanding individual in the way he coped with that situation, it was amazing.”