Friday, July 12, 2024

Commonwealth Games Live Blog: All the action from Day Two at the University of Birmingham

Clean sweep for Team England as top seeds join the fray
By ALAN THATCHER (Squash Mad Editor)

The big guns enter the fray today as the top seeds in the men’s and women’s singles take on yesterday’s winners.

Squash Mad will be reporting live throughout the day and we would love fans and readers to join in the fun.


Please scroll down for all of today’s results.

From all the social media posts today, there is clearly widespread frustration among the global squash community at the lack of TV coverage of the squash competition.

The BBC has come in for some fierce criticism for their failure to cover any squash so far.


Tomorrow’s Round of 16 draws:
[1] Paul Coll (NZL) v Emyr Evans (WAL)
[5/8] Adrian Waller (ENG) v Christopher Binnie (JAM)
[5/8] Greg Lobban (SCO) v [9/16] Ivan Yuen (MAS)
[3/4] Saurav Ghosal (IND) v [9/16] David Baillargeon (CAN)
[3/4] Patrick Rooney (ENG) v [9/16] Rory Stewart (SCO)
[5/8] James Willstrop (ENG) v Nasir Iqbal (PAK)
[5/8] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) v Nick Sachvie (CAN)
[2] Joel Makin (WAL) v [9/16] Alan Clyne (SCO)

[1] Joelle King (NZL) v [9/16] Georgia Adderley (SCO)
[5/8] Lucy Turmel (ENG) v [9/16] Jessica Turnbull (AUS)
[5/8] Hollie Naughton (CAN) v [9/16] Aifa Azman (MAS)
[3/4] Joshna Chinappa (IND) v [9/16] Kaitlyn Watts (NZL)
[3/4] Gina Kennedy (ENG) v [9/16] Nicole Bunyan (CAN)
[5/8] Tesni Evans (WAL) v [9/16] Rachel Arnold (MAS)
[5/8] Emily Whitlock (WAL) v [9/16] Donna Lobban (AUS)
[2] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) v [9/16] Chan Yiwen (MAS)

The evening session is now over at the University of Birmingham.

Just as I was looking forward to my cocoa and a nap after starting work 15 hours ago, along comes the longest match of the tournament so far:
Nick Sachvie (CAN) beat Lwamba Chileshe (NZL) 11-6, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4 (70m)

Thank you all for tuning in.

See you tomorrow.


[3/4] Gina Kennedy (ENG) beat Yeheni Kuruppu (SRI) 11-1, 11-1, 11-1 (16m)

Gina Kennedy was in ruthless form on her Commonwealth debut, allowing her opponent just one point in each game.

Kennedy said: “She has probably never played at that pace before. I remember my first match against Laura Massaro [former world champion] when I was 16. The pace was just a different level and if you don’t train at that level it really takes you off guard.

“I was being proactive today. I didn’t want to extend the rallies too much because I wanted to practise my short game, so I was happy with how it went.”

On her rise from world no.185 to ninth in the world rankings in less than a year after graduating from Harvard two years ago:

It’s crazy. Two years ago my primary goal was to get selected for the England team. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to be one of the medal contenders and the No.3 seed.

“My coach Ben Ford has been the main person to give the credit for my rise. I genuinely love squash, love training and love what I do.

“We are in a team of legends. James Willstrop and Alison Waters are at their fifth Games. The energy they bring is so inspiring. They are just as excited to be at their fifth Games as they were at their first.

“It’s also reassuring. I was a bit nervous earlier today but Alison was able to give me some advice and settle me down. It’s so important to have those senior players to learn from.”

Gina Kennedy celebrates her victory over Yeheni Kuruppu


The 14-year-old sensation Anahat Singh from India has just lost in four tough games to Emily Whitlock (Wales). After trailing by two games, she fought back to win the third, only for Whitlock to finish strongly in the fourth.

Many of those watching were convinced that they were seeing a future world No.1.


Men’s No.2 seed Joel Makin (Wales) has entered the fray against Mike Kawooya from Uganda, who is enjoying his fourth appearance in the Games. And he must have loved those long, punishing rallies that Joel treated him to!

Gina Kennedy (ENG) beat Yeheni Kuruppu (SRI) 11-1, 11-1, 11-1 (16m)
Joel Makin beat Mike Kawooya (UGA) 11-1, 11-2, 11-2 (24m)
Emily Whitlock (WAL) beat Anahat Singh (IND) 11-7, 11-7, 4-11, 11-6 (43m)
James Willstrop (ENG) beat Christian Navas (GIB) 11-1, 11-2, 11-6 (26m)
Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) beat Jade Pitcairn (CAY) 11-1, 11-3, 11-5 (16m)
Rory Stewart (SCO) beat Temwa Chileshe (NZL) 6-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 (45m)
Patrick Rooney (ENG) beat Julian Jervis (CAY) 11-2, 11-6, 11-6 (28m)
Nicole Bunyan (CAN) beat Chanithma Sinaly (SRI) 11-1, 11-8, 11-4 (20m)
Tesni Evans (WAL) beat Amanda Haywood (BAR) 11-5, 11-3, 11-2 (18m
Donna Lobban (AUS) beat Rachael Grinham (AUS)  6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 (32m)
Rachel Arnold (MAS) beat Amna Fayyaz (PAK) 11-3, 11-2, 11-5 (14m)
Nasir Iqbal (PAK) beat Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 1-0 retired (11-5, 9-3)


Men’s singles top seed Paul Coll beats Malta’s National Coach Niall Engerer 11-4, 11-2, 11-4 in 16 minutes.


Paul Coll, on his opponent

Top seed Paul Coll had some kind words to say about his opponent, Malta’s Niall Engerer:

He is a really nice guy. I have never played Niall before, he’s a great character and we had a great time. I won so I enjoyed it, so hopefully he did as well. It was a cool experience to play in front of so many people on such a great glass court.

On preparing for the Games

There’s always a few nerves starting the Commonwealth Games but I love pulling on the new Zealand shirt so I’m going to enjoy these weeks as much as possible as these are the best experiences we get on a squash court.

On heading home to New Zealand recently

It’s so cool. Me and Joelle havent been home for three and a half years and we got so much energy from seeing the support back home. It was just what we needed after such a long season to go home re-energise and start this event with some really good vibes.

It’s amazing. There’s a lot of people in squash trying their hardest. It’s awesome for us to see their support. I get so many messages from back home but it’s a completely different feeling to be there and experience it.


What’s it like playing Paul Coll?

Niall Engerer tells Rod Gilmour: “It was tough, a bit of a blur and I tried not to think about passing out!”

Interview here


Hollie Naughton (CAN) beat Lijana Sultana (MLT) 11-2, 11-1, 11-2 (16m)

The 15-year-old Lijana Sultana, on her performance
It was a big match yesterday and it was great today. She is number 20 in the world, so it was a great experience. It was amazing to play her.
This is such another step.  It is such a prestigious event. To have won my first match, in my first Commonwealth Games, it is such a good feeling.  And then to play someone as good as Hollie Naughton, that’s amazing.
On her family and support
It’s amazing having my brother and sister here and them playing as well, and to play with them in doubles. I’m playing in the mixed with my brother and in the women’s with my sister.
Opening Ceremony

It was so cool.  It was amazing walking out to all the cheers and people waving, with my brother Kijan as one of the flag-bearers.


[9/16] Jess Turnbull (AUS) bt Collette Sultana (MLT) 11-4, 3-11, 11-7, 11-7 (33m)

Colette Sultana on playing in the Games

I’m very happy to be in the shape that I am and competing with these girls here at the Games.
There are some of the strongest players from around the world here, and to be among them and competing well with them is a step in the right direction for me.
Today was enjoyable, not quite good enough to take the win, and that’s also to Jess’s credit for the performance she put in.
I can see progress in my game and I’m super motivated to keep working to maximise my potential.
Adrian Waller in action against Jake Kelly

England’s Adrian Waller eased past Jake Kelly of Cayman Islands 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 in 25 minutes.

Solid win by Emyr Evans of Wales, beating Mohammad Syafiq Kamal of Malaysia in four games, 11-8, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7 in 46 minutes.


Nervous start by Lucy Turmel on her Commonwealth Games debut for England. She loses the first four points to Amity Alarcos of Papua New Guinea before hitting back to win 11-5, 11-1, 11-1 in 15 minutes.

Brave battle by Brisbane-based Colette Sultana of Malta before she bows out to Australia’s Jess Turnbull, who wins 11-4, 3-11, 11-7, 11-7 (33 minutes).

Scotland’s Georgia Adderley beats Emma Keane (Bermuda’s flag-bearer) 11-1, 11-3, 11-1 in 20 minutes.

Emma Keane on her performance: 

 Georgia is an incredibly good player, neat and clean. To be honest I was more in it to improve my performance and I stuck in it for a good few rallies; it was very tough physically. I am just happy to be here. Georgia was in Bermuda for a tournament earlier and the camaraderie of squash is always good.   

On being the only squash player in the team:  

It was an incredible honour … I’m getting a bit emotional, and I was the flag bearer too … so many honours.

I am fortunate to grow up in Bermuda and to have inspiring  female squash players. I am very grateful for the support of the island .My parents are here, my  sister in here and my friends are here . 

On the village and her experience:  

 It has been phenomenal. I am so impressed with the volunteers and the welcome and the hospitality. I was in Birmingham a few years ago and it has been great to come back, and I understood the Bull Ring and the relevance to the opening ceremony. It is my first Games but what a great set-up.  

On what’s next:  

I want to start getting on to boards to highlight the role of women in sport and squash. There have been women on them previously who have fought for women in sport and squash, and I think it’s my time. We need to keep pushing forward. It’s not a fight that will fight itself.


Wise words from Emma. I will introduce her to some women friends in squash who are seeking the same outcomes.


Joelle King (NZL) beat Leungo Katse (BOT) 11-1, 11-4, 11-3 (15 mins)

Leungo Katse (BOT)

It was quite scary for me to play one of my role models. I think it went quite well even though I made a few mistakes here and there. I’m in high school but I’m looking to go to a university which has a good squash programme.

No.1 seed Joelle KING (NZL)

It was so emotional. For such a long period of time we knew it wasn’t an option to go home and before you know it, three and half years have gone by. The couple of months before I was going home, I shed a few tears knowing it wasn’t long before I was going to get to see everybody again.

It was brutal. At the start of the pandemic I just expected it to pass, like everyone, so I didn’t go home. I think the first part was the hardest part, but once I adjusted… They stopped all flights for a while. Dare I say it, I would have had to retire as I wouldn’t have been able to leave the country. It’s a a huge sacrifice, obviously, but you only get one career so I have to make the most of it while it lasts. Luckily, I have found such a love for playing and competing again.

It was emotional and busy. We did a lot of squash stuff while we were back. It was really interesting to see that there was a real buzz around squash because me and Paul have been doing so well on the Tour. It really inspires the younger players. It was awesome to see.

When we were in New Zealand a lot of people get a bit spoilt but in the three and a half years we were away, it creates a different kind of buzz. We did an exhibition the night before the Nationals and it was crazy, and not just diehard squash fans. To have non-squash people there was so cool.

The New Zealand Open in December has already sold out; the semis and finals sold out within an hour. I’ve been a pro for 16 years and have never had the opportunity to play a major event on home soil.


Nathan Clarke’s award winning image of Paul Coll at Canary Wharf

Brilliant and deserved accolade for PSA photographer Nathan Clarke. 

From the PSA website:
 photographer Nathan Clarke has taken second place in the ‘Racquet Sports’ category at the 2022 World Sports Photography Awards.

The World Sports Photography Awards are for professional, semi-professional sport photographers and specialist sports photographic agencies and included images taken between January 1st 2021 and December 31st 2021.

Clarke’s image (above) of Paul Coll in action in front of a packed East Wintergarden crowd during the 2021 Canary Wharf Classic final received the silver award in the ‘Racquet Sports’ category.

Clarke – who won gold at the 2021 awards for his image of Coll diving in desperation for the ball during a match against Egypt’s Mostafa Asal – also received a special merit award for capturing Ali Farag and Mohamed ElShorbagy in action at the spectacular Great Pyramid of Giza, which hosted the CIB Egyptian Open in September, 2021.

Full story here


If you are at the event please share your selfies with our Twitter page:

And if you would like to comment on any aspect of the play or the venue or your favourite players, please comment below.


First result of the day: a walkover for Jamaica’s Chris Binnie against India’s Ramit Tandon. Ramit withdrew because of a back injury.


Here is the schedule for Day Two:


Mr Squash Mike Harris was the busiest man in Birmingham yesterday as he welcomed hundreds of visitors to the mini court built by Nick Thompson of Melior Sports.

He even took on Cameron Pilley, whose forehand killer drive to win the men’s doubles final was the final point and the last piece of sporting action in the whole of the Glasgow 2014 Games!

Mike also took on former world No.2 Jenny Duncalf, now part of the Aussie coaching team and partner of flag bearer Rachael Grinham. I’ll let Mike tell you the scores!

But this picture might be a clue!

Come on Cam…. stretch for that ball!

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One hour to go until play starts. Don’t forget to post your comments below!

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, University of Birmingham..

Men’s Singles, Second Round:
[1] Paul Coll (NZL) bt Niall Engerer (MLT) 11-4, 11-2, 11-4 (16m)
Emyr Evans (WAL) bt [9/16] Mohd Syafiq Kamal (MAS) 11-8, 11-3, 7-11, 11-7 (46m)
Chris Binnie (JAM) walkover v [9/16] Ramit Tandon (IND)
[5/8] Adrian Waller (ENG) bt Jake Kelly (CAY) 11-4, 11-3, 11-3 (25m)
[5/8] Greg Lobban (SCO) bt Ravindu Laksiri (SRI) 11-9, 11-4, 12-10 (37m)
[9/16] Ivan Yuen (MAS) bt Rhys Dowling (AUS) 11-9, 9-11, 11-5, 11-4 (42m)
[9/16] David Baillargeon (CAN) bt Peter Creed (WAL) 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, 11-4 (48m)
[3/4] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt Shamil Wakeel (SRI) 11-4, 11-4, 11-6 (24m)
[3/4] Patrick Rooney (ENG) bt Julian Jervis (CAY) 11-2, 11-6, 11-6 (28m)
[9/16] Rory Stewart (SCO) bt Temwa Chileshe (NZL) 6-11, 11-4, 11-4, 11-4 (45m)
Nasir Iqbal (PAK) v [9/16] Tayyab Aslam (PAK) 1-0 retired (11-5, 9-3)
[5/8] James Willstrop (ENG) bt Christian Navas (GIB) 11-1, 11-2, 11-6 (26m)
[5/8] Eain Yow Ng (MAS) bt Jason-Ray Khalil (GUY) 11-4, 11-2, 11-4 (17m)
Nick Sachvie (CAN) bt [9/16] Lwamba Chileshe (NZL) 11-6, 6-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-4 (70m)
[9/16] Alan Clyne (SCO) bt Abhay Singh (IND) 11-3, 9-2 retd (22m)
[2] Joel Makin (WAL) bt Mike Kawooya (UGA) 11-1, 11-2, 11-2 (24m)

Women’s Singles, Second Round:
[1] Joelle King (NZL) bt Leungo Katse (BOT) 11-1, 11-4, 11-3 (15m)
[9/16] Georgia Adderley (SCO) bt Emma Keane (BER) 11-1, 11-3, 11-1 (20m)
[9/16] Jess Turnbull (AUS) bt Collette Sultana (MLT) 11-4, 3-11, 11-7, 11-7 (33m)
[5/8] Lucy Turmel (ENG) bt Amity Alarcos (PNG) 11-5, 11-1, 11-1 (15m)
[5/8] Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt Lijana Sultana (MLT) 11-2, 11-1, 11-2 (16m)
[9/16] Aifa Azman (MAS) bt Sunayna Kuruvilla (IND) 11-8, 11-7, 11-7 (25m)
Kaitlyn Watts (NZL) bt Mary Fung-a-Fat (GUY) 11-2, 11-6, 11-4 (23m)
[3/4] Joshna Chinappa (IND) bt Meagan Best (BAR) 11-8, 11-9, 12-10 (34m)
[3/4] Gina Kennedy (ENG) v Yeheni Kuruppu (SRI) 11-1, 11-1, 11-1 (16m)
[9/16] Nicole Bunyan (CAN) bt Chanithma Sinaly (SRI) 11-1, 11-8, 11-4 (20m)
[9/16] Rachel Arnold (MAS) bt Amna Fayyaz (PAK)  11-3, 11-2, 11-5 (14m)
[5/8] Tesni Evans (WAL) bt Amanda Haywood (BAR) 11-5, 11-3, 11-2 (18m)
[5/8] Emily Whitlock (WAL) v Anahat Singh (AUS) 11-7, 11-7, 4-11, 11-6 (43m)
[9/16] Donna Lobban (AUS) v Rachael Grinham (AUS) 6-11, 11-4, 11-7, 11-7 (32m)
[9/16] Chan Yiwen (MAS) bt Faiza Zafar (PAK) 11-3, 11-6, 11-5 (18m)
[2] Sarah-Jane Perry (ENG) bt Jade Pitcairn (CAY) 11-1, 11-3, 11-5 (16m)



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