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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 13:03 GMT
Nicol secures squash title glory
Peter Nicol (left) and Lee Beachill (right)
Nicol (left) and Beachill (right) celebrate on the podium
England's Peter Nicol won his second Commonwealth Games squash singles title by beating Australian top seed David Palmer 9-5 10-8 4-9 9-2 in the final.

Nicol won his first Commonwealth singles gold as a Scot in 1998, but switched to England after a funding row, and won doubles gold in 2002.

Lee Beachill took bronze for England, defeating team-mate Nick Matthew 9-3 9-7 9-3 in the third place play-off.

Australia's Natalie Grinham beat sister Rachael to take the women's title.

I almost felt that it was my destiny to win
Peter Nicol

Natalie, who celebrated her 28th birthday this week, lost the first set, but came back strongly to win 2-9 9-6 9-1 9-6 in just 43 minutes.

World number one Nicol David, of Malaysia, finished out of the medals after losing the bronze medal match to Shelley Kitchen of New Zealand.

Nicol, who lives in London, took silver in the singles in Manchester four years ago after losing to Jonathon Power, along with his doubles gold.

"I am in shock. I can't believe I have won it. I was overcome with emotion and I have never felt that before in my entire squash career," he said.

"I wanted to win so desperately, and I wanted to make amends for Manchester. This is everything I have been working for, for the last 16 months, and for my whole career really.

"During that last game I was so tired but it was the best game of squash I have ever played. I knew that if I could get ahead it would be very hard for him.

"I almost felt that it was my destiny to win."

It's a shame one of us had to come away with nothing - I didn't think it was deserved
Nick Matthew

Beachill, of Pontefract, was delighted with his bronze.

"After my operation at Christmas, the Commonwealth Games were a big target for me. I would have been devastated to miss it. To come here and get a singles medal is brilliant."

But Matthew criticised Games organisers after missing out on a medal.

At the 1998 Games at Kuala Lumpur and in Manchester in 2002 both losing semi-finalists shared the bronze.

But that rule has been changed in Melbourne and Matthew felt he had been hard done by.

"It's a shame one of us had to come away with nothing - I didn't think it was deserved," he said.

"I was very disappointed to have to play for the bronze because at other competitions both semi-finalists are immediately handed medals - that's the correct thing to do."





Links to more Commonwealth Games stories


 



SEE ALSO
Nicol on course for squash treble
19 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
British men make squash quarters
17 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games
Nicol serves up retirement hint
16 Mar 06 |  Commonwealth Games


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