Squash Celebrates Golden Glasgow Games
and exuberant crowds throughout the 11 days of action in the 2014
Commonwealth Games - a significant percentage of whom were watching
Squash action for the first time - characterised an overwhelming
success for the sport at Glasgow 2014.
estimated 35,000 followed five days of singles action and six days of
doubles action on a spectacular state-of-the-art at the
Scotstoun Sports Campus in Scotland's largest city.
(England) and Nicol David (Malaysia) made history by becoming the
first champions to retain their gold medals in the singles events - then
India also claimed a place in squash history by securing the
country's first ever Games medal when Joshana Chinappa &
Dipika Pallikal won the Women's Doubles gold against the odds.
Veteran David Palmer rounded off the entire Games programme by
clinching double gold for Australia after winning the Men's & Mixed
Doubles titles (with Cameron Pilley and Rachael Grinham,
Palmer's incredible success not only took his Games medal tally to a
record eight since 2002 - and the 38-year-old's first gold - but also
lifted Australia to the top of the Squash medals table, ahead of
second-placed England who boasted a best-ever nine medals,
including a clean sweep of the silvers!
"Squash is proud of its record of innovation and presentation, and the
Commonwealth Games organisers in Glasgow have continued to raise the bar
in this area," exclaimed World Squash Federation President N
Ramachandran. "Superb staging, the most wonderful atmosphere from
enormous numbers of spectators and great broadcast.
salute and thank the players, referees, the audience and the organisers
- everybody involved who has made the Games so memorable."
addition to the record spectator attendances and worldwide TV output,
BBC TV also revealed that a peak domestic television audience of one
million viewers tuned in to BBC1 to watch Matthew and David claim gold
in the singles finals.
12 hours after being the Team England flag-bearer at the Opening
Ceremony - one of four squash players to perform such a high-profile
role - Nick Matthew had first-hand experience of the sensational
was just so good to come out to such an amazing response - it's more
like a finals crowd than a first round," said the world No2. "I've had a
long career and played in some amazing venues, but never experienced a
first round crowd like that."
singles silver medallist James Willstrop added: "The atmosphere
here was unbelievable. It's great for the game and it's wonderful to be
involved - I'm trying to soak up every minute.
doesn't come any better than this - it's quite exceptional what Glasgow
has been doing."
Doubles was also a huge success, benefitting from the wider court and
lowered tin (down to 33mm / 13") since the last Games in Delhi. Matches
were shorter and more vibrant, with exciting and entertaining encounters
on the Scotstoun new legacy courts and the showcourt.
don't think anyone could have predicted the impact the squash here has
had on the general public, as opposed to the die-hard fans," said BBC TV
commentator Sue Wright, winner of one of England's first
Commonwealth Games squash gold medals in 1998.
have been surprised at how exciting the Doubles has been. The lower tin
and extra court width has helped turn it into an integral part of the
enthusiastic spectator in Glasgow was Prince Albert of Monaco:
"Squash is a great sport - it's made major progress in the last few
years. It's much more spectator-friendly," said the IOC Member. "This
has been a great showcase for the sport, the level of play was
the four-time Olympic rowing gold medallist who was in Glasgow as a BBC
TV presenter added: "Squash is one of my favourite Commonwealth sports -
I love it. It's a great spectacle.
a unique sport in that, if you sit behind the front wall, is played at
you - and I can't think of another sport like that. The ball comes to
you at such speed."
MC Alan Thatcher said: "The success of the squash competitions
provided an outstanding and invaluable promotion for the sport. The
standard of play in the men's and women's singles was incredibly high,
and the new format for the doubles is a major breakthrough for squash.
would love to see the national federations working with court
manufacturers to encourage clubs to build doubles courts using these
dimensions. The wider court and the lower tin produced a much more
entertaining version of the sport.
"Nearly every squash club in the USA has a doubles court and I would
love to see a campaign to achieve the same throughout the UK and
Australian squash legend Sarah Fitz-Gerald, the five-time world
champion in Glasgow as the Australian team coach, said: "Scotland and
Glasgow: Thanks for a wonderful and successful Commonwealth Games. The
atmosphere was awesome, the squash was great, bagpipes terrific and the
court looked fantastic.
"Squash received an enormous amount of attention from dignitaries,
officials and public. As well as four flag-bearers. Let's hope all this
raises the sport's profile further as we chase the elusive entry into
the Olympics Games."
Twitter was a platform from which numerous sports luminaries expressed
their new-found enthusiasm for Squash: "Squash has always been a great
sport to play, and these days it's very good to watch. Should be an
Olympic sport," tweeted England football hero Gary Lineker.
Olympic decathlon gold medallist Daley Thompson said: "Women's
squash final. Nicol & Laura both warriors and brilliant ambassadors for
the game. The Olympics needs Nicol, Laura, Nick, James - in fact Squash"
Respected BBC Radio sports journalist Mark Pougatch proclaimed:
"Saw squash in Kuala Lumpur games in 98. Said it should be in the
Olympics then and say the same now. More deserving than some who
Daily Express newspaper wrote: "Squash has been one of the real
finds of these Games from a TV perspective with a number of high-quality
matches and performances."
2014 Commonwealth Games Squash Medals Table