Aussie squash duo on track in gold defence

Steve Larkin / AAP News


The defending mixed doubles gold medallists take another important step on the pathway to the gold medal match.

Australia’s Donna Lobban, playing squash with her cousin, must beat her husband to remain in the hunt for a Commonwealth Games gold medal.

Lobban will face-off against her Scotland-born husband in a mixed doubles quarter-final in Birmingham.

“I have already started the mental warfare,” Lobban said.

“I’ve started to wind him up already. I was telling him we were fist-pumping when we got that draw.”

Lobban and her cousin Cameron Pilley are defending Commonwealth mixed doubles champions.

Lobban and Pilley downed India’s Joshana Chinappa and Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu in straight sets, 11-8 11-9, in the round of 16 on Thursday.

Hours later, Lobban’s husband Greg and his playing partner Lisa Aitken won their clash for Scotland to set-up a Friday night quarter-final pitting husband against wife.

Donna Lobban’s partner Pilley believes other pairs will now be increasingly wary of the Australians on the road to the medals.

“Every single team is a potential speed bump,” Pilley said.

“We’re not even seeded in the top four so probably the seeds … if they see us along their road, they are probably more worried about us, being defending champs.

“When you go to the Comm Games … you’re not going in hoping for a medal, you’re going for gold.

“Having done that once, for us it was the best thing ever. So we’re going after it again.”

Australia’s flag-bearer Rachael Grinham and her mixed doubles partner Zac Alexander also won their round-of-16 encounter on Thursday, defeating England’s Georgina Kennedy and Patrick Rooney 11-8 11-6.

Alexander and his men’s doubles partner Ryan Cuskelly breezed past Cayman Islands duo Jake Kelly and Jace Jervis, winning 11-2 11-1.

In the women’s doubles, Australia’s Alex Haydon and Jess Turnbull lost their round-of-16 match with England’s Georgina Kennedy and Lucy Turmel, who triumphed 11-4 11-7.

But the Aussie women’s doubles team of Lobban and Grinham march on after defeating India’s Sunayna Sara Kuruvilla and Anahat Singh 11-4 11-4.



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