New Zealand has come away with two gold medals and one bronze from the the 2017 WSF World Doubles Squash Championships in Manchester after good wins earlier this morning.
The medal tally equalled last year and it was the same pairings taking out the titles as well.
The first final was the women’s, between top seeds and defending champions Joelle King (Waikato) Amanda Landers-Murphy from Rotorua against England’s Jenny Duncalf and Alison Waters, the fifth seeds.
The Kiwis started well, taking a 9-5 lead in the first, but six points in a row for the English duo gave them the lead 11-9.King and Landers-Murphy stormed back in the second game winning it 11-1 and then racing to a 6-2 lead in the decider
Again the English pair fought back, levelling at 7-all and earning two match balls at 10-8. The Kiwis regrouped to save both match balls, and after a series tense rallies ending in lets, it was the English who hit the tin to keep the title in New Zealand hands after a 46 minute final.
“That was so tough,” said a relieved Landers-Murphy. “We were ahead in all the games, just glad that we could stay strong and keep it together at the end.”
The mixed final also featured the defending champions against English opposition, with King and Waters straight back on court with partners Paul Coll and Daryl Selby.
This also went to three games as the Kiwis held sway in the first, winning it 11-8, but the English pair pulled back a deficit in the second to level sets 11-9.
It was all New Zealand in the decider though, as Coll and King stayed ahead, retaining their title 11-6 in 47 minutes as Coll drove a ball down the middle for a winner.
“We felt good together again today,” said a delighted Coll. “We dropped off a bit in the second, but managed to get early leads in the first and third, which always takes the pressure off.
“We have a great team spirit in the Kiwi camp, it’s been a tough week to start the season off, but a lot of fun, and we’re obviously delighted to be going back with more gold medals.”
Yesterday Coll and Auckland’s Campbell Grayson confirmed their bronze medal in the men’s doubles, the same medal they won at the world champs last year.
For King, 28 the wins were just reward after she felt the weight of being a defending champion in two of the events.
“I’m really happy we came here with pressure on our shoulders obviously going in, in both of the events as top seeds in my parings. It’s kind of a bit of a relief really, We had a fair idea we could play to a really good level, but it’s always making sure you put it out on court every day. In the mixed we lost early in the pool but we got better every day, a bit like a fine wine. I’m just really happy we came away with two gold and a bronze.”
I think it’s just positive for us all looking at the season ahead and moving forward to the Commonwealth Games.”
King will now go to a base in Bristol for training before travelling to Shanghai for US$100,000 JP Morgan China Squash Open, August 31-3 September.
Mixed Doubles 9-10 Playoff
Men's Doubles 9-10 Playoff
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