The World of Squash
at Your Fingertips

About SP
Squash on TV
UK Counties
World Links
Online Store
Books, Subs, Videos

Squash Directory
Where to get it all

Classified Section
Job, Jobs, Jobs ...Something to sell...

XVIII Commonwealth Games
Melbourne, Australia, 16-26 March

Back to Main Page

John Murray Reports from Melbourne
The story of the Commonwealth Games squash championships was one of crushing wins and shock upsets. It was a story about marathon games, played in front of packed crowds. It was a story about classic clashes between old foes England and Australia. And, above all, it was a story – no, let’s make that a fairytale – about Peter Nicol.

The veteran Englishman crowned a memorable five days of competition when he beat top seed David Palmer 9-5, 10-8, 4-9, 9-2 to win his second Commonwealth Games singles gold.

Upon winning the point that sealed gold, Nicol sunk to his knees on the Show Court at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre, then thumped his fists against the glass in utter jubilation. Finally, he clutched his head for several moments scarcely able to believe what he had achieved.

The final had been billed as the wily old-timer Nicol against man of the moment Palmer.
But this being the Commonwealth Games, it wasn’t simply a case of one opponent against another. This was the might of the old empire against the best the home nation had to offer.

This was the white shirt of Nicol against the green shorts and gold top of Palmer. England v Australia yet again in the squash – and for the umpteenth time in the Games as a whole.

From the first point, Nicol tore around the court, just like the player who powered to gold eight years ago, often staying in rallies he had no right to win. And his efforts were rewarded on the scoreboard when he took the first two games.

Palmer responded by winning the third, but Nicol would not be denied. With each point won, Nicol bellowed “C’mon”, clenching his fists as he goaded himself to victory.

3-1 became 4-1; 5-2 became 6-2. And, soon after, it was 9-2. Game over. Gold medal won.

“It meant everything to me,” Nicol revealed immediately after the match.

“It was one of the last tournaments I’m ever going to play in, and certainly the biggest one I’m going to play in at the end of my career.

“I was very, very tired going into that fourth game, but I think I played the best game of my career.”

Things had started smoothly for the eight-strong English singles contingent when competition got under way on the first day of the Games. All eight English players progressed to the last 16. And even better, none of them relinquished a game. Nicol eased through against South African Rodney Durbach, while Lee Beachill was arguably the pick of the bunch in crushing another South African, Craig Van Der Wath.

Jenny Duncalf was the first English casualty in the next round. She suffered a surprising loss to Shelley Kitchen – more on her later.

The remaining seven English stars safely advanced to the quarter-finals. Nicol was rarely troubled in a 9-2, 9-2, 9-0 demolition job of Canadian Matthew Giuffre. Elsewhere Tania Bailey eased past Australian Amelia Pittock. England 1 Australia 0, if you like.

The competition really fired up in the quarter-finals. Never more so than in the clash between doubles partners James Willstrop and Nick Matthew.

Trailing 8-2 in a must-win fourth game, British National champion Matthew somehow staved off six match balls, then fought back to take the match into a deciding game before eventually prevailing 9-3, 3-9, 8-10, 10-8, 9-5.

By contrast, Matthew’s semi-final opponent Nicol enjoyed a far easier path into the last four, eliminating Canadian Graham Ryding in three games. And Lee Beachill ensured England fielded three of the four semi-finalists after a convincing defeat of Australia’s Stewart Boswell.

Unfortunately, it was a different story in the women’s quarter-finals, where England’s three surviving representatives all crashed out at the quarter-final stage. New Zealander Kitchen claimed another major scalp when she eliminated an out-of-sorts Vicky Botwright, while Bailey and Linda Elriani bowed out to top-seeded duo Nicol David and Rachael Grinham.

In the end, Grinham had to settle for silver after losing to her sister Natalie, while Kitchen pulled off her third shock in five days to snatch bronze at David’s expense.

With four men left standing, Matthew looked poised to spring another surprise when he took the first game off Nicol, but the veteran was not to be denied a final tilt at gold.

In the other semi-final, David Palmer scuppered Beachill’s bid to make it an all-England final. To his credit, Beachill returned the following day to win gold against Matthew.

But that was merely a supporting act to Nicol’s memorable swansong to a glorious career.

Shock Win for Nick Matthew
Nick Matthew of England has created an upset, defeating compatriot and No.2 seed James Willstrop in a 5 game thriller. Matthew began the match strongly, breaking away to win the first game 9-3. Willstrop hit back in the second to level the game score, also winning the game 9-3. With both players at level pegging, the English pair started the third game at a furious pace.

Willstrop managed to get out to an 8-6 lead, but Matthew dug in to level the score at 8-8. Using great control, Willstrop claimed the game with a drop-volley winner to take a 2-1 lead. Using the momentum he gained by winning the third game, Willstrop quickly moved to an 8-3 lead, giving him his first match-ball.

Matthew never lost heart and played on, seemingly finding a new reserve of energy. Willstrop had a total of 6 match-balls, but was unable to find the winning shot he needed to close out the match. He showed excellent sportsmanship in calling his own shot out at a crucial stage. Matthew pressed on, converting his first game-ball to level the match to a deciding fifth game.

With a semi final place to play for, neither player gave an inch, working each other mercilessly around all four corners of the court. Trading point for point early in the game, Matthew broke away to claim the final game, the match and a place in the Semi Finals 9-5.

Matthew meets English team mate, Peter Nicol in another all English clash in the Semi Final. Nicol defeated Canada’s Graham Ryding in the Men's Squash Singles Quarter Final 9-5 9-1 9-3.

Seven of England’s singles players through to the quarter finals
Team England just missed out on a clean sweep on the squash courts today as all four men and three of England’s women went through to the quarter-finals in the singles event.

In the men’s singles, England’s Peter Nicol (London), who won gold in Kuala Lumpur and silver in Manchester, beat Canada’s Matthew Giuffre 9-2, 9-2, 9-0.   Nick Matthew (Sheffield) beat Ong Beng Hee of Malaysia 9-4, 9-2, 9-7.

Also in the men’s singles, James Willstrop (Pontefract) beat Gavin Jones of Wales 9-4, 9-2, 9-7, and Lee Beachill (Pontefract) beat Alex Gough of Wales 9-1, 9-0, 9-1.

Commenting on his win, Lee Beachill said: “This is the only competition where they use the old scoring system, so some of the score lines here are a bit misleading

“I felt on top throughout the match and didn’t give him a chance to play his game.  I was injured at the end of last year and lost to him just before Christmas. However, I have done a lot of work since then, and I feel that I am getting back to normal.  

“I am playing and moving well, and when I do those things right I am pretty tough to beat”, he added.

This is the first time that all four English men have made it through to the quarter-finals of a Commonwealth Games.  If the run of wins continues Pete Nicol and James Willstrop could meet in the semi-finals.

In the women’s singles Tania Bailey (Stamford) beat Australia’s Amelia Pittock 9-2, 9-2. 9-1, Vicky Botwright (Swinton) beat Tenille Swartz of South Africa 9-4, 9-7, 9-7, and Linda Elriani (Eastbourne) beat Tegwen Malik of Wales 9-6, 10-8, 9-3.

Jenny Duncalf (Harrogate) was England’s only loss on the squash courts losing to  Shelley Kitchen of New Zealand, 6-9, 9-4, 6-9, 1-9.

England Players Storm Into Last Sixteen In Melbourn
All eight of the England players competing in the squash singles in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne comfortably secured places in the last sixteen in today's (Thursday) first day of action at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

Fourth-seeded Londoner Peter Nicol, the 1998 singles champion who is in his third successive appearance in the Games, confidently brushed aside South African Rodney Durbach 9-5, 9-1, 9-1 in 29 minutes to set up a surprise third round match with Matthew Giuffre, an unseeded Canadian who knocked out Pakistan's 11th seed Shahid Zaman.

British National champion Nick Matthew, the No7 seed from Sheffield, defeated Zambian Chiluba Chilufya 9-2, 9-1, 9-2 in 29 minutes and will now take on Malaysia's ninth seed Ong Beng Hee.

Fellow Yorkshireman Lee Beachill, the fifth seed from Pontefract, despatched South African veteran Craig van der Wath 9-1, 9-2, 9-1 in 28 minutes.  The former world No1 will now meet Welshman Alex Gough, the 13th seed who earned his place in the last sixteen when his Bermudan opponent James Stout retired injured midway through their third game.

But the Englishman who had the easiest ride on day one was No2 seed James Willstrop.  The 22-year-old from Pontefract, who is making his debut in the Games, didn't even need to get his racket out of the bag as Scottish opponent Harry Leitch conceded a walkover after sustaining an injury in his earlier first round match.

In the women's event, Lincolnshire's Tania Bailey, from Stamford, convincingly beat Diana Argyle of South Africa 9–3, 9–1, 9-0.

Commenting on her victory, eighth seed Bailey said:  “I don’t think I have ever played this early in the tournament before but it was nice to get the first match out of the way.  My preparation has gone really well.

“I had not played the South African before so she was a bit of an unknown to me,” she added. “It took me a few points to get used to her style of play as she played better than I expected.”

Team England’s players dominated all their matches. Jenny Duncalf, the fifth seed from Harrogate in Yorkshire, beat Scotland’s Louise Philip 9–2, 9-3, 9-0.

Manchester's Vicky Botwright, the No4 seed, beat Sharon Chimfwembe of Zambia 9–0, 9–0, 9–3, while sixth seed Linda Elriani, from Eastbourne, beat Jamaica’s Karen Anderson 9–4, 9–1, 9–2.



Nicol Ready For 'Most Important Event In Calendar'

Beachill & Nicol In Unique Games Title Defence Bid

Hat-Trick For Hosts Predicted By Commonwealth Games Squash Doubles Seedings

Australia & Malaysia Seeded To Win Squash Singles Gold In Melbourne

Team England’s squash men get first round byes


Men's Draw
Back to Main Page
Round One
Thu 16th
 R 2
Thu 16
Fri 17
Sat 18
Sun 19
Mon 20
[1] David Palmer (AUS)
David Evans (WAL) bt Hardeep Reel (KEN)
     9-7, 9-5, 9-2 (33m)
David Palmer
9-2, 9-4, 9-6 (33m)
David Palmer

9-2, 9-4, 9-6 (66m)

Shahier Razik
David Palmer

2-9, 10-8, 9-6, 9-0 (79m)

John White
David Palmer
9-0, 9-4, 9-4 (59m)
Lee Beachill
David Palmer
[14] Shahier Razik (CAN) bt Yasir Issadeen (SRI)       9-3, 9-0, 9-3 (22m)
Chris Simpson (GUE) bt Navin Samarasinghe (SRI)
       9-0, 9-4, 9-0 (24m)
Shahier Razik
9-3, 2-9, 9-3, 9-6  (54m)
[6] John White (SCO)
Nick Kyme (BER) bt Chikumbutso Mkutumula (MAW)    9-0, 9-2, 9-1 (25m)
John White
9-7, 9-1, 9-1  (24m)
John White

9-6, 9-0, 9-2 (28m)

Joseph Kneipp
[16] Joseph Kneipp (AUS) bt Joseph Chapman (BVI)
      9-0, 9-0, 9-1 (20m)
Joseph Desira (MLT) bt Shawn Badrinath (GUY)      9-3, 9-4, 9-6 (34m)
Joseph Kneipp
9-4, 9-1, 9-1 (20m)
[3] Anthony Ricketts (AUS)
Colin Ramasra (TRI) bt Maxim Weithers (GUY)      10-8, 9-4, 9-2 (32m)
Anthony Ricketts
9-0, 9-0, 9-1(21m)
Anthony Ricketts

10-8, 9-2, 9-7 (68m)

Stewart Boswell
Stewart Boswell

9-4, 9-3, 9-3 (74m)

Lee Beachill

[10] Stewart Boswell (AUS)
Steve Richardson (IRL) bt Joshua Pinard (TRI)    9-2, 9-1, 9-1 (31m)
Stewart Boswell
9-4, 9-0, 9-4 (42m)
[5] Lee Beachill (ENG)
Craig van der Wath (RSA) bt Nadeem Hosenbux (MRI)     9-0, 9-2, 9-0 (22m)
Lee Beachill
9-1, 9-2, 9-1 (30m)
Lee Beachill

9-1, 9-0, 9-1 (42m)

Alex Gough
[13] Alex Gough (WAL) bt Colin Alexander (SVG)       9-1, 9-0, 9-2 (23m)
James Stout (BER) bt Joseph Karigithe (KEN)        9-2, 9-0, 9-0 (21m)
Alex Gough
9-4, 9-1, 1-7 Rtd  (19m)
Clinton Leeuw (RSA) bt Jeffery Broderick (CAY)    9-1, 9-1, 9-0 (21m)
[12] Graham Ryding (CAN) bt Karl Nassief (DMN)    9-3, 9-1, 9-0 (19m) 
Graham Ryding
9-1, 9-6, 9-0 (38m)
Graham Ryding

9-10, 9-1, 9-0, 9-5 (59m)

Azlan Iskandar
Graham Ryding

9-5, 9-1, 9-3 (48m)

Peter Nicol

Peter Nicol 
3-9, 9-5, 9-4, 9-5 (85m)
Nick Matthew
9-5, 10-8, 4-9, 9-2 (103M)
Peter Nicol


Christopher Binnie (JAM) bt Leonard Bedneau (DMN)     9-0, 9-2, 9-3 (20m)
[8] Mohd Azlan Iskandar (MAS)       bye                            
Azlan Iskandar
9-0, 9-1, 9-1  (21m)
Matthew Giuffre (CAN) bt Andrew McGoon (FIJ)    9-0, 9-0, 9-0 (14m)
[11] Shahid Zaman (PAK)
Matthew Giuffre
9-4, 10-8, 10-9  (45m)
Matthew Giuffre

9-2, 9-2, 9-0 (30m)

Peter Nicol
Rodney Durbach (RSA) bt Chirag Shah (KEN)    9-0, 9-7, 9-2 (21m)
[4] Peter Nicol (ENG)
Peter Nicol
9-5, 9-1, 9-1  (32m)
Shawn Delierre (CAN) v Sonalmeet Nagra (FIJ)
    9-1, 9-0 ...
[9] Ong Beng Hee (MAS)
Ong Beng Hee
9-3, 9-1, 9-2  (30m)
Ong Beng Hee

9-4, 9-2, 9-7 (65m)

Nick Matthew
Nick Matthew

9-3, 3-9, 8-10, 10-8, 9-5 (83m)

James Willstrop

Lazarus Chilufya (ZAM) bt Aubrey Taulo (MAW)
     9-0, 9-0, 9-4 (19m)
[7] Nick Matthew (ENG)
Nick Matthew
9-2, 9-1, 9-2  (32m)
Hartaj Bains (KEN) bt O'Neil Chilambwe (ZAM)
    9-6, 9-2, 9-6 (33m)
Gavin Jones (WAL) bt [15] Mansoor Zaman (PAK)
     9-7, 9-6, 5-9, 2-9, 9-6 (72m)
Gavin Jones
9-3, 9-3, 9-4  (39m)
Gavin Jones

9-0, 9-7, 9-1 (37m)

James Willstrop
Harry Leitch (SCO) bt James Bentick (SVG)
    9-5, 9-3, 9-5 (26m)
[2] James Willstrop (ENG)
 James Willstrop
Back to Main Page
Round One
Thu 16th
Round Two
Fri 17th
Sat 18th
Sun 19th
Mon 20th
[1] Nicol David (MAS) 
[13] Runa Reta (CAN) bt Eli Webb (PNG)
        9-1, 9-1, 9-2 (20m)
Nicol David
9-0, 9-0, 9-3  (23m)
Runa Reta
Nicol David

9-6, 10-9, 9-3 (45m)

Tania Bailey
Nicol David
9-10, 9-7, 4-9, 9-6, 9-3 (87m)
Natalie Grinham

Natalie Grinham
2-9, 9-6, 9-1, 9,6 (44m)
Rachael Grinham

[8] Tania Bailey (ENG) bt Diana Argyle (RSA)
      9-3, 9-1, 9-0 (20m)
[12] Amelia Pittock (AUS) bt Marlene West (JAM)       9-1, 9-0, 9-1 (22m)
Tania Bailey
9-2, 9-2, 9-1  (23m)
Amelia Pittock
[3] Natalie Grinham (AUS) bt Chantelle Day (CAY)       9-0, 9-0, 9-1 (14m)
[16] Tricia Chuah (MAS) bt Vanessa Florens (MRI)       9-3, 9-0, 9-5 (20m)
Natalie Grinham
7-9, 9-5, 9-3, 9-0  (43m)
Tricia Chuah
Natalie Grinham

9-1, 9-7, 4-9, 9-3 (58m)

 Madeline Perry
[7] Madeline Perry (NIR) bt Tehani Guruge (SRI)
      9-1, 9-0, 9-0 (20m)
[10] Sharon Wee (MAS) bt Nicolette Fernandes (GUY)   4-9, 9-6, 7-9, 9-6, 9-2 (62m)
 Madeline Perry
6-9, 9-3, 9-6, 6-9, 9-5 (76m)
 Sharon Wee
[9] Shelley Kitchen (NZL) bt Naluge Guy (PNG)
      9-2, 9-1, 9-0 (17m)
[5] Jenny Duncalf (ENG) bt Louise Philip (SCO)
      9-2, 9-3, 9-0 (21m)
Shelley Kitchen
9-6, 4-9, 9-6, 9-1 (60m)
Jenny Duncalf
Shelley Kitchen

10-8, 9-5, 9-1 (43m)

Vicky Botwright
Shelley Kitchen
10-8, 9-4, 9-2 (41m)
 Rachael Grinham
Tenille Swartz (RSA) bt [14] Tamsyn Leevey (NZL)      9-5, 9-6, 9-4 (25m)
[4] Vicky Botwright (ENG) bt Sharon Chimfwembe (ZAM)      9-0, 9-1, 9-3(14m)
Tenille Swartz
9-4, 9-7, 9-7 (46m)
Vicky Botwright
[11] Tegwen Malik (WAL) bt Nirasha Guruge (SRI)9-3, 9-0, 9-0 (18m) 
[6] Linda Elriani (ENG) bt Karen Anderson (JAM)
9-4, 9-1, 9-2  (18m) 
Tegwen Malik
9-6, 10-8, 9-3 (41m)
Linda Elriani
Linda Elriani

1-9, 9-5, 9-5, 9-3 (44m)

Rachael Grinham
[15] Kasey Brown (AUS) bt Frania Gillen-Buchert (SCO) 9-3, 9-0, 9-4 (24m)
[2] Rachael Grinham (AUS)
Kasey Brown
9-3, 9-1, 9-2 (36m)
Rachael Grinham
Back to Main Page

Pool line-ups – Men:

Pool 1: [1] Stewart Boswell & Anthony Ricketts (AUS); [12] Shawn Badrinath & Maxim Weithers (GUY); Hartaj Bains & Hardeep Reel (KEN)

Pool 2: [2] Lee Beachill & Peter Nicol (ENG); [11] Nicholas Kyme & James Stout (BER); O’Neil Chilambwe & Lazarus Chilufya (ZAM); Duncan Gray & Gye Duncan (NFI)

Pool 3: [3] Joseph Kneipp & David Palmer (AUS); [10] Aamir Atlas Khan & Khayal Muhammad Khan (PAK); Yassir Issadeen & Navin Samarasinghe (SRI)

Pool 4: [4] Nick Matthew & James Willstrop (ENG); [9] Shawn Delierre & Matthew Giuffre (CAN); Joseph Karigithe & Chirag Shah (KEN)

Pool 5: [5] Campbell Grayson & Martin Knight (NZL); [8] Harry Leitch & John White (SCO); Joshua Pinard & Colin Ramasra (TRI); Peter Christian-Bailey & Steve Nobbs (NFI)

Pool 6: [6] David Evans & Alex Gough (WAL); [7] Rodney Durbach & Adrian Hansen (RSA); Andrew McGoon & Sonalmeet Nagra (FIJ); Chikumbutso Mkutumula & Aubrey Taulo (MAW)   



Pool 1: [1] Natalie Grinham & Rachael Grinham (AUS); [4] Louise Crome & Lara Petera (NZL); [5] Jenny Duncalf & Alison Waters (ENG); Karen Anderson & Marlene West (JAM); Naluge Guy & Eli Webb (PNG)

Pool 2: [2] Shelley Kitchen & Tamsyn Leevey (NZL); [3] Tania Bailey & Vicky Botwright (ENG); [6] Dianne Desira & Amelia Pittock (AUS); Frania Gillen-Buchert & Louise Philip (SCO); Nirasha Guruge & Tehani Guruge (SRI)



Pool 1: [1] Rachael Grinham & David Palmer (AUS); [12] Tenille Swartz & Clinton Leeuw (RSA); Nirasha Guruge & Navin Samarasinghe (SRI)

Pool 2: [2] Shelley Kitchen & Glen Wilson (NZL); [11] Runa Reta & Matthew Giuffre (CAN); Tehani Guruge & Yassir Issadeen (SRI)

Pool 3: [3] Natalie Grinham & Dan Jenson (AUS); [10] Madeline Perry & Steve Richardson (NIR); Chantelle Day & Jeffrey Broderick (CAY); Debby Adams & Gye Duncan (NFI)

Pool 4: [4] Vicky Botwright & James Willstrop (ENG); [9] Tegwen Malik & Gavin Jones (WAL); Marlene West & Christopher Binnie (JAM)

Pool 5: [5] Nicol David & Ong Beng Hee (MAS); [8] Diana Argyle & Craig van der Wath (RSA); Nicolette Fernandes & Shawn Badrinath (GUY); Becky Nobbs & Duncan Gray (NFI)

Pool 6: [6] Lara Petera & Callum O’Brien (NZL); [7] Alison Waters & Adrian Grant (ENG); Sharon Chimfwembe & Lazarus Chilufya (ZAM); Vanessa Florens & Nadeem Hosenbux (MRI)



Nicol Ready For 'Most Important Event In Calendar'

On the eve of leading England's squash team in the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, twice gold medallist Peter Nicol announced that the squad is in great spirits and "ready to start".


With more than 50 major international titles to his name, including Commonwealth Games singles gold in Kuala Lumpur in 1998 and doubles gold in Manchester four years ago – and 60 months at the top of the world rankings – one might assume that Peter Nicol has achieved all that he wants to in squash.


But the 32-year-old from London has been focussed on gold in Melbourne for the past year.  "I'm proud of my two gold medals from previous events – but I am determined to get another one in what will certainly be my last Commonwealth Games appearance," explained the former world champion in Melbourne.


When asked what the Commonwealth Games means to him, Nicol was quick to respond:  "It's huge.  For me, it's the most important thing on the calendar.  It’s the biggest multi-sport event squash is in – and competing in it is like nothing else in the world.  It doesn't compare to anything else.


"There's a great team spirit in the squad – we all know each other well and help each other out.  And we're all ready to start now."


With a bye in the first round on the first day of action tomorrow (Thursday), fourth seed Nicol is likely to face South Africa's Rodney Durbach for a place in the last sixteen. 


"Rodney will be a tough first opponent - but I'm feeling in good form and, having been in Melbourne for more than a week now, I just can't wait to get the first match underway," said the left-hander.


If things go according to the seedings, Nicol would meet England team-mate James Willstrop, the 22-year-old No2 seed from Yorkshire, for a place in his third successive singles final.


The former Scot has admitted recently that, whilst he won't now retire immediately after the 2006 Games, he is unlikely to play on the international PSA Tour beyond the end of this year.


"I'm not going to be playing for much longer after this, so I'm going to enjoy every minute of competing here in Melbourne," concluded Nicol.


With two medals in both previous Games, in Malaysia and England, Nicol is keen to bring his total up to six before hanging up his rackets.  He partners Yorkshireman Lee Beachill in the men's doubles in a bid to become the only pair to successfully defend their gold medal won in Manchester. 


Seeded two, Beachill and Nicol are expected to face top seeds Stewart Boswell & Anthony Ricketts, the Australians they beat in the 2002 final, in the Melbourne final on Sunday 16 March at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre.

Beachill & Nicol In Unique Games Title Defence Bid

England's Lee Beachill and Peter Nicol are bidding to become the only squash players to successfully defend their titles at the 2006 Commonwealth Games next week in Melbourne, Australia.


The former world number ones, from Pontefract and London, respectively, paired up for the first time four years ago and struck gold at the 2002 Games in Manchester.  The pair has been seeded to reach the 2006 final, where they are expected to meet Australian favourites Stewart Boswell & Anthony Ricketts, whom they beat in the Manchester final.


Following the singles events, the three doubles events (men, women and mixed) take place at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) from 22-26 March.


Nicol, whose doubles gold medal in 2002 followed the singles gold he won in Kuala Lumpur in 1998, is the only man to have won two medals in each of the previous two games (including doubles bronze in 1998 and singles silver four years later).  The 32-year-old Londoner is expected to continue his twin-medal run in Melbourne.


Also seeded in the men's doubles are Yorkshiremen Nick Matthew & James Willstrop.  Seeded four, the pair are making their Games debuts.  Willstrop, the 22-year-old world No5 from Pontefract, is seeded to win silver in the men's singles event – and is drawn to meet his doubles partner, the 25-year-old British champion from Sheffield, in the quarter-finals!


Willstrop partners world No5 Vicky Botwright, from Manchester, in the mixed doubles.  Seeded four, the pair are joined in the event by seventh-seeded Londoners Alison Waters and Adrian Grant, ranked 12 and 16, respectively, in the world.


Alison Waters, at 21 the youngest member of the England squash squad, teams up with Yorkshire's Jenny Duncalf, ranked 7 in the world, in the women's doubles.  The pair is seeded five, and will need to qualify in Pool 1 alongside Australian favourites Natalie Grinham and Rachael Grinham.


England's other interest in the women's doubles will be provided by third seeds Tania Bailey & Vicky Botwright.  A silver medallist in 2002 (with the now retired Cassie Jackman), Bailey – from Stamford in Lincolnshire – will be hoping to partner Botwright to success in Pool 2 to boost their chances of a place in the final.

Hat-Trick For Hosts Predicted By Commonwealth Games Squash Doubles Seedings  

Hosts Australia are expected to make a clean sweep of the Squash Doubles gold medals in the Commonwealth Games later this month in Melbourne, according to the seedings announced today (Friday) by the World Squash Federation (WSF).


The doubles, which will follow the singles events at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC), will get underway on 22 March, with early Pool matches being followed by the knockout stage from Friday 24th through to the finals on Sunday 26th.


Squash in the Commonwealth Games boasts a world-class entry list featuring 14 of the top 20 men in the world and all but two of the women's top ten.


"The sport will be represented by an all-time record of 28 nations and 91 athletes," commented WSF Chief Executive Christian Leighton.  "Alongside the established squash nations, it is excellent to see countries like the Norfolk Islands competing for the first time in the doubles events in Melbourne."


Stewart Boswell & Anthony Ricketts, from Canberra and Sydney, respectively, are top seeds in the men's doubles, ahead of English title-holders Lee Beachill & Peter Nicol.  Boswell & Ricketts, ranked 17 and 6, respectively, in the world, won the WSF World Doubles Championship title at the Games venue in Melbourne in January.


The Australian favourites head Pool 1, where they will be joined by 12th seeds Shawn Badrinath & Maxim Weithers (Guyana) and Kenyan pair Hartaj Bains & Hardeep Reel.


Beachill & Nicol, who beat the Australian pair in the 2002 final in Manchester and are currently ranked 8 & 7, respectively, lead the line-up in Pool 2 - where they will face Nicholas Kyme & James Stout (the 11th seeds from Bermuda), O’Neil Chilambwe & Lazarus Chilufya (Zambia) and Duncan Gray & Gye Duncan (Norfolk Islands).


Queensland sisters Natalie Grinham & Rachael Grinham are favourites in the women's doubles event.  The 'Toowoomba twosome', ranked 4 & 3, respectively, in the world, are expected to meet New Zealand's second seeds Shelley Kitchen & Tamsyn Leevey, the reigning world doubles champions, in the final.


Double gold is predicted for Rachael Grinham, who teams up with David Palmer in the mixed doubles.  The favourites are expected to face No2 seeds Shelley Kitchen & Glen Wilson in the final.  Wilson won the 2002 gold medal with the now retired Leilani Rorani.



Australia & Malaysia Seeded To Win Squash Singles Gold In Melbourne

Australia's David Palmer and Nicol David of Malaysia are seeded to win gold for the first time in the squash singles events in next week's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, according to the draws announced today (Wednesday) by the World Squash Federation (WSF).


The sport's Commonwealth Games action will be staged on a new purpose-built all-glass show court at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) where players will challenge for five gold medals in both singles (men and women) and doubles (men, women and mixed) events across 11 days of competition.


The singles events get underway on Thursday 16 March, leading to the two finals on Monday 20th, followed by the doubles events which reach their climax on Sunday 26 March.


"Squash will be represented by an all-time record of 28 nations and 91 athletes in Melbourne 2006," commented WSF Chief Executive Christian Leighton.  "This includes our two newest members: Mauritius and the British Virgin Islands.  This growth underscores the health of the sport as well as our commitment to the Commonwealth Games and the values and endeavours of the Commonwealth Games Federation."


Mauritius and British Virgin Islands join a number of new nations making their Games debuts this year – including Malawi, Malta, St Vincent & the Grenadines, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Fiji and Norfolk Island.


David Palmer, a bronze medallist in the 2002 Games in Manchester, returned to the top of the world rankings last month after a four–year gap.  The 29-year-old from Lithgow in New South Wales, a former World Open champion and three-times British Open champion, is expected to meet England's No2 seed James Willstrop in the men's final.


Willstrop, the 22-year-old England No1 from Pontefract in Yorkshire making his debut in the event, led England to success in last year's World Team Championships in Pakistan after reaching No2 in the world in December.


Peter Nicol, the former world No1 who won singles gold for Scotland in Malaysia in 1998, and doubles gold for England four years later, is seeded four in Melbourne behind Australia's third seed Anthony Ricketts.  Nicol, the only man to win two medals in both previous Commonwealth Games, is expected to meet Willstrop in an all-English semi-final, while Palmer and Ricketts are due to face each other in the other all-Australian battle.


A new champion is assured in the women's event in which Nicol David, a mixed doubles silver medallist in Manchester, is expected to face Australian rival Rachael Grinham, who won silver in the 2002 women's doubles and bronze in the singles, in the final.


Nicol David has become one of her country's most successful sports stars of all-time after following her maiden triumph in last year's World Open by becoming world number one.  The 22-year-old from Penang is expected to meet Rachael's younger sister Natalie Grinham, the third seed, in the semi-finals.


Victory by Queenslander Rachael Grinham would keep the women's title in Australian hands after triumphs by Michelle Martin in 1998 and Sarah Fitz-Gerald in 2002.  The 29-year-old from Toowoomba is expected to meet England's fourth seed Vicky Botwright, a Games debutante, in the other women's semi-final.


Team England’s squash men get first round byes
Team England squash players Pete Nicol and James Willstrop could meet in the semi-finals of the men’s singles competition at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games if the seedings go to plan.
Willstrop (Pontefract, West Yorkshire), the 22-year-old English number one playing in his first Commonwealth Games, is seeded two for the tournament behind Australia’s David Palmer. Pete Nicol (London) is seeded four for the men’s singles.
Both Nicol and Willstrop have received byes in the first round draw, as have England’s other male singles players, Lee Beachill (Pontefract, West Yorkshire) and Nick Matthew (Sheffield), seeded five and seven respectively.
England’s women players don’t have the luxury of byes in their opening round in Melbourne. Tania Bailey (Stamford, Lincs), seeded eight, takes on South Africa’s Diana Argyle in the top half of the draw. If the seeds go to plan she would meet world number one and top seed Nicol David (MAS) in the quarter-finals.
Jenny Duncalf (Harrogate, North Yorkshire), seeded five, faces Scotland’s Louise Philip in the opening round, Vicky Botwright (Swinton, Manchester), seeded four, plays Sharon Chimfwembe from Zambia and number six seed Linda Elriani (Eastbourne) takes-on Jamaica’s Karen Anderson.
Duncalf, Botwright and Elriani all feature in the bottom half of the draw, along with Australia’s number two seed Rachel Grinham, who gets a first round bye.
Both singles competitions get underway on Thursday 16 March, the opening day of sport at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.