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By Sascha Ryner
Australia has extended its reign as the Commonwealth champions of the squash mixed doubles, with Yamba cousins Donna Urqhuart and Cameron Pilley claiming the 2018 title.
The dynamic duo has followed in the footsteps of Australian teammates Rachael Grinham and David Palmer from Glasgow 2014, following their victory over India in two straight sets (11-8, 11-10).
While the pair had to work hard to win against India’s Saurav Gosal and Dipika Pallital Karthik, with neither the Australians or Indians having more than a three-point lead throughout the contest, it was the Australians who managed to stay one step ahead to clinch the gold.
“I think we’re a bit speechless when we won that final point, I think I looked at Donna and she looked at me, we didn’t know what to say. It feels amazing,” said Pilley.
This is the first squash medal for Australia at Gold Coast 2018, after each athlete got knocked out in the quarter and semifinals in the singles events. Australia has pairings gunning for bronze in the women’s doubles and gold in the men’s doubles tomorrow.
“Every other gold I’ve won has been special, but to play in front of such a great Aussie crowd, we’ve said it before, we never get the opportunity to.
“I’ve got about 10 family members who are here from Denmark and we’ve both got a massive crew here from Yamba, so to do it in front of friends and family who don’t ever get to see you play and walk away with a gold medal, it doesn’t get any better than that,” Pilley continued.
Pilley has previously won Commonwealth Games gold in the men’s doubles in Glasgow, however his cousin has never before won gold.
“This is my first gold medal. I won a bronze eight years ago in the women’s doubles in Delhi but I always imagined what it would feel like, and it’s always been a dream of mine. It’s going to take a while for the reality of it to set in,” Urquhart said.
“It’s nice that I can do that with Cameron.”
Pilley, 35, is a few years older than 31-year old Urquhart, and despite growing up together, they hadn’t discovered the power of their winning combination until August last year at the World Doubles Championships.
“I watched Cameron become a professional player while I was still at school, but I knew that was what I wanted to do from seeing him do it. It’s worked out alright for us.”
Urquhart will return to the court tomorrow morning for the women’s doubles bronze medal play off, which she will play with experienced campaigner Rachael Grinham.