• To Birmingham 2022

Pilley a World Doubles Champ

By David McPherson


Australian Squash pairing Cam Pilley and Ryan Cuskelly have exacted revenge on the Scottish duo that knocked them out of last year’s WSF World Doubles Championships to claim gold in Manchester.

Pilley and Cuskelly flipped the script on the number one seeded Scots, after the Australians bowed out in the semi-final as the top seed last year.

Pilley and Cuskelly triumped in 34 minutes, winning 11/6, 11/3.

“This year it was really something that me and Ryan wanted to win just to rectify things a bit,” Pilley said.

“I think that really hurt us losing to the Scots last year. It really was getting one back over them, especially in the lead-up to the Commonwealth Games.”

Pilley blames overconfidence for the loss last year in Darwin.

“I think we took it a little bit easy. We thought we’d get through it no matter how we played,” he said.

This time around the pair made sure there was no chance of history repeating itself.

“We didn’t drop a game the whole tournament so for the whole tournament we were sharp. We were pretty switched on with what we wanted to do.”

Unfortunately injury prevented Pilley from doubling up on his medal haul, with his mixed doubles partner Donna Urquhart succumbing to a calf injury in the quarter finals.

“It was just a textbook lunge that she did – she played the shot and hit a winning shot. Then walking back to the middle of the court to get the ball something just popped in her calf,” Pilley said.

“It was really unfortunate because we were starting to play well together. We were seeded in the top four for the event so we were hoping to push for a final as well.”

The 34-year-old Pilley is looking forward to GC2018 in what could be his last Games after competing in Delhi and Glasgow.

 “Having the Commonwealth Games experience in the past – pulling on the Australian shirt is hugely motivating. Being in that team atmosphere with the whole Australian team is pretty inspirational,” he said.

“To also experience that on home turf in front of family, friends and the Australian Squash community, that’s going to make it even more special.

Pilley says the Doubles Championships provided a great opportunity to hone his skills ahead of the Games.

“The tournament’s been a little bit random over the years – maybe if it was in the lead up year to a Commonwealth Games they might have had it but it was never permanently on the calendar,” he says.

“I think after the success of Darwin last year it raised the bar for whoever was going to run the event this year.”

Manchester lived up to the standard set by Darwin.

“We were at the UK national squash centre and there were a lot of people there, every single day from the morning matches to the evening matches,” Pilley said.

The Australian team.


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