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Commonwealth Games 2002
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Squash Thursday, 20 June, 2002, 10:12 GMT 11:12 UK
Squash's big hitters
Sarah Fitz-Gerald in action last year
Sarah Fitz-Gerald aims to improve on her 1998 silver
BBC Sport Online looks at the squash stars set to shine at the Commonwealth Games.


Peter Nicol (ENG)

The Scottish-born player returns to the Commonwealth Games hoping to repeat his 1998 triumph, but this time will be flying the flag of south of the border rivals England.

Controversy aside, Nicol has the talent and tenacity to do it, having emerged as one of the most dominant players on the men's circuit in the past few years.

The 29-year-old's achievements are formidable - beating Pakistan legend Jansher Khan to win the prestigious British Open in 1998, clinching the World Open the following year and winning the PSA Super Series in 2001.

Nicol may face tough competition from arch rival Jonathon Power of Canada and Australian David Palmer, but will be boosted after winning his second British Open title in April.


Jonathon Power (CAN)

Jonathon Power in action last year
Power is determined to settle the score in Manchester
Commonwealth silver medallist Jonathon Power finally has the opportunity to clinch the gold he missed out on four years ago in Kuala Lumpur.

The Canadian virtuoso is one of the biggest names in the game and his duels with 1998 winner Peter Nicol are legendary.

Power, has already won almost everything else, including the World Open in 1998 and the British Open title the following year, so success in Manchester could be the icing on the cake.

The Montreal-based star exited this year's British Open in the semi-finals, but on the whole, has been in electric form recently, picking up wins in Pakistan, New York and in the PSA Masters.


Sarah Fitz-Gerald (AUS)

The powerful Australian, whose hard game strikes fear into her competitors, will undoubtedly be the favourite for gold in the women's event at Manchester.

With four world championships and two British Open titles, 33-year-old Fitz-Gerald seems to be in devastating form at the moment.

Her achievements have been made more amazing, having come back from a career-threatening knee injury she suffered in 1998-99 to reclaim her world number one ranking.

She re-emphasized her dominance in April by claiming her second successive British Open title.


Nicol David (MAS)

At just 18 years old, Nicol Ann David is one of the brightest young stars on the women's circuit.

The Malaysian had already won a stack of titles by the time she hit her teens and, at 15, became the youngest player ever to win the Women's World Junior Championships in Antwerp.

Since then she has won various junior titles and is starting to prove a major force at senior level.

Being so young, the current Asian champion has to juggle overseas tournaments with her schoolwork, but could be worth watching in Manchester.


Walker/Geaves (ENG)

Chris Walker and Fiona Geaves return to the Commonwealth Games as the veterans of the English squad.

Both have enjoyed their fair share of success on the squash circuit over the years, including Walker's bronze in the men's doubles at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur Games.

Of course, Walker will be 35 years old when he joins Greaves, a year younger, in search of gold in Manchester, but never let age be a deterrent.

The dynamic duo have already proved that they are up to the task with a mixed doubles gold medal at the World Invitation Doubles Championships at the same Manchester venue earlier this year.


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