Friday, February 23, 2024

Joelle King leads New Zealand hopes in Commonwealth Games

Strong Kiwis squad looking for medals in singles and doubles

Joelle King in action
Joelle King in action

(From New Zealand media) Two time Commonwealth Games medallist and world No.4 Joelle King is leading New Zealand’s eight-strong squash squad for the Commonwealth Games.

The four men, four women team was announced this morning featuring King and her silver medal winning mixed doubles partner Martin Knight.

Waikato’s King would be joined by Canterbury’s Megan Craig, the world No 42, Bay of Plenty’s Amanda Landers-Murphy (43) and Waikato’s Kylie Lindsay (55).

Auckland’s Campbell Grayson was the top Kiwi men’s ranked player at No 42, Knight was 48, Canterbury’s Paul Coll was 87 while Auckland’s Lance Beddoes was 171.

King was the only New Zealander selected to represent New Zealand in the singles, though the New Zealand Olympic Committee selectors have also endorsed a Squash New Zealand request to allow the athletes selected as part of a doubles team to participate at the Games in singles events.

King would partner Landers-Murphy in the women’s doubles and Knight in the mixed doubles.

New Zealand would have two pairs in the women’s, mixed and men’s doubles. After winning gold in the women’s doubles with Jaclyn Hawkes, mixed silver with Knight and finishing fifth in the women’s singles four years ago, King was a real medal chance in Glasgow.

Her Delhi efforts earned her the honour of carrying the New Zealand flag in the closing ceremony. New Zealand has been successful on the squash court before, winning two golds and a silver in 2002 in Manchester then four years later in Melbourne, a silver and bronze were won.

Squash New Zealand chief executive Jim O’Grady was thrilled with the team travelling to Glasgow.

He said: ”It’s fantastic. We’re excited that the New Zealand Olympic Committee selected all eight players which will see the country represented by a very strong side.

”Obviously, Joelle is a great chance for a medal in the singles, but New Zealand has also excelled at doubles in recent years and we believe this lineup is more than capable of continuing our proud run at the Games.”

Picture from Squash Mad archives 

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