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Since squash was introduced into the Commonwealth program in Kuala Lumpur 1998, Australia has enjoyed a successful history at the Games, and the GC2018 TeamAus representatives are on track to continue the tradition.
By Dan Lonergan
The Aussies will be headlined by David Palmer who has been selected for his sixth Commonwealth Games, and teammate Rachael Grinham, who will compete at her fifth Games. While they have been the faces of Australian squash for two decades, Palmer and Grinham come to the Gold Coast bursting with youthful exuberance.
Palmer, a two-time World Champion, will partner with Games’ debutant Zac Alexander in the men’s doubles where they are seeded fifth.
Reigning World Champions and top ranked seeds Cameron Pilley and Ryan Cuskelly will also line up in the men’s doubles competition. Pilley partnered with Palmer to win the men’s doubles gold at Glasgow 2014, so he knows what it takes to win Commonwealth gold.
Cuskelly and Pilley will also contest the men’s singles competition, where they are ranked sixth and seventh respectively.
Donna Urquhart is Australia’s highest ranked women’s singles player and is seeded seventh for this competition. She will be joined by Commonwealth Games first timers Christine Nunn and Tamika Saxby in the women’s singles competition.
Eight-time World Champion and two-time defending Commonwealth Games champion, Nicol David of Malaysia, will be gunning for a third straight Games gold medal, but will have to buck the rankings to do so, with England’s World No. 4, Laura Massaro seeded top.
Queenslander Grinham will defend Australia’s mixed doubles crown with new partner Cameron Pilley and will join forces with Australian No.1 Urquhart in the women’s doubles; Sarah Cardwell rounds out the team playing women’s doubles.
Australia recorded its most successful squash result ever at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, winning two gold and one bronze to make it the premiere team in Glasgow. The Australians won the men’s and the mixed doubles gold medals.
World Championships aside, the Commonwealth Games is the biggest international event in which squash is played and the GC2018 action will kick off at the Oxenford Studios on Thursday 5 April with the singles competition for the first five days and then six days of doubles and mixed doubles.