‘I love Australia and love playing for my country’ says golden great Palmer
By ALEXIA CLONDA – Squash Mad Australia Correspondent
Australia’s Commonwealth Games most acclaimed squash player, David Palmer, has been inducted into the Commonwealth Games NSW Division Hall of Fame.
Palmer’s induction into the Hall of Fame was a quiet affair, done behind the scenes, during the 2018 Games on the Gold Coast in Australia in April.
The induction highlights his outstanding achievements at six Commonwealth Games since squash’s inclusion in 1998.
The Commonwealth Games is second only to the Olympic Games in the pecking order of the world’s major sporting events in number of athletes and countries involved, with more than 10,000 athletes and 71 countries competing.
Although officially retiring in 2012, Palmer was once again called to arms to provide leadership and inspiration to the 2018 Commonwealth Games squash team on home soil. After partnering Cam Pilley to gold in the men’s doubles in Glasgow in 2014, he repeated that success in Gold Coast with Zac Alexander.
“I love Australia and playing for my country – I am always available wherever I am needed to help grow squash,” Palmer said.
As the Head Coach of Cornell University’s Squash Program, he hopes to be able to explore opportunities for Australia’s talented junior squash players in the US.
Palmer competed on the Professional Squash Association (PSA) tour from 1997-2012, twice reaching a number one world ranking (2001-02, 2006). During his professional career, he won the PSA Super Series finals in 2002, reached the World Tour finals 53 times and came away with the title on 27 occasions.
Palmer was a two-time World Champion (2002, 2006), was one of just seven athletes to claim a world title on multiple occasions, as well as a four-time British Open Champion (2001, 2003, 2004, 2008).
The man known as “The Marine” for his phenomenal fitness, was ranked in the top 10 of the PSA for 10 consecutive years (2000-10) before retiring from professional competition in 2012.
Palmer captained the Australian national team six times, was named Squash Australia’s Senior Athlete of the Year four times (2006, 2007, 2008, 2014), and was voted the Player of the Decade by his peers.
Article by ALEXIA CLONDA. Edited by ALAN THATCHER.