Commonwealth Games 2002
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Squash Monday, 8 July, 2002, 11:32 GMT 12:32 UK
Top squash stars set for Games
Peter Nicol in action earlier this year
Nicol (left) returns to defend his title

A world class entry list has ensured that the squash competition will be a thrilling spectacle at the Commonwealth Games in Manchester.

Thirteen of the world's top 15 men and eight of the top 10 women will be in the hunt for a gold medal when the Games get underway on Friday 26 July.

World number one and world champion Peter Nicol heads a highly competitive field in the men's event as he attempts to defend his 1998 title.

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The quality of entry for squash in this, the second Commonwealth Games appearance for the sport, is absolutely excellent
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Susie Simcock
WSF president
The Scottish-born player claimed gold at the sport's debut in Kuala Lumpur, but returns this year representing his second country, having transferred allegiance to England, the country of his residence for more than 10 years.

Nicol is set to face a strong challenge from old rival Jonathon Power, who had to settle silver last time around.

The in-form Canadian will be confident of making amends for his Kuala Lumpur defeat, having triumphed in the pair's last three meetings this year.

Australian star Sarah Fitz-Gerald leads the women's charge and will be keen to improve on her silver medal of four years ago.

The world number one and four-times world champion has claimed 12 international titles in an unbeaten run since last August and will be hungry to capture the one major title that has so far eluded her.

Sarah Fitz-Gerald in action earlier this year
Fitz-Gerald is in the hunt for more success
With so many top class players on display, fans can expect plenty of drama and excitement from the new National Squash Centre venue in Manchester.

"The quality of entry for squash in this, the second Commonwealth Games appearance for the sport, is absolutely excellent," said a delighted Susie Simcock, president of the World Squash Federation (WSF).

"We are grateful to all the nations who have sent their players to make this a truly world class event."

There are five gold medals up for grabs in the squash events in Manchester - men's and women's singles, men's and women's doubles, and mixed doubles.

The top 10 men and women's entries (featuring world ranking and country):

Men: (1) Peter Nicol, England; (2) Jonathon Power, Canada; (3) David Palmer, Australia; (4) Stewart Boswell, Australia; (7) Mark Chaloner (England); (8) Ong Beng Hee, Malaysia; (9) Martin Heath, Scotland; (10) Lee Beachill, England; (11) Anthony Ricketts, Australia; and (12) Chris Walker, England.

Women: (1) Sarah Fitz-Gerald, Australia; (2) Carol Owens, New Zealand; (3) Cassie Jackman, England; (4) Leilani Joyce, New Zealand; (6) Linda Charman-Smith, England; (8) Fiona Geaves, England; (9) Stephanie Brind, England; (10) Tania Bailey, England; (11) Rachael Grinham, Australia; and (14) Natalie Grinham, Australia.

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20 Jun 02 | Squash
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15 Apr 02 | Other Sports
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