IMAGE| MICHAEL WILLSON
By Sascha Ryner
In an unlucky draw for our squash athletes, two Australians have come up against each other, with three-time Commonwealth Games athlete Donna Urquhart knocking out Christine Nunn from competition and a chance at glory.
Australian champion Urquhart defeated Canberran Nunn in a heart-stopping five game match over 59 minutes.
Having begun the match with a loss in the first game, it was Urquhart who dominated the final two games 11-6, 11-5 and will now move through to the quarterfinals; a first for the three-time Commonwealth Games athlete who won bronze at Delhi 2010.
For Urquhart, the victory today has proved how much she still has to offer in the sport, after a tumultuous four years since Glasgow 2014. Following the Games, she suffered a major injury setback, requiring surgery on her plantar fascia, which resulted in her taking more than six months out of competitive squash.
And while she has climbed up the ranks to world number 14 once again, what she is most proud of is her game.
“To be playing in the singles and going through to the quarterfinals for the first time at the Commonwealth Games is truly something else, and I’d love to keep going,” she said.
“I’m playing better than I ever was before my injury. While I’m not at my highest ranking (no. 13), it’s just that the standard of squash is even higher than it was before.
“When I came back, it was about not only getting back to where I was, but getting up to where everyone else is now. I’ve got experience and I play a better game mentally that I used to and I understand my own strengths and weaknesses. And now I’m better than I ever was.
“If I keep doing what I’m doing, and keep pushing forward, hopefully I can win gold.”
For Nunn, coming up against Urquhart was bitter sweet.
“It would have been nice not to verse each other this early on in the draw, but I guess the positive was that we were guaranteed at least one Aussie through to the quarterfinals.
“Donna and I haven’t played each other before, which is crazy considering we have been playing squash for so long. I was just really looking forward to getting on court and playing someone like Donna, who I’ve looked up since I was younger.”
Urquhart will progress through to tomorrow’s Quarterfinal, with the draw being announced tonight.