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Commonwealth Games 2002
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Squash Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Nicol safely through
England's Peter Nicol
Nicol made a near-perfect start to the defence of his title
England's Peter Nicol began the defence of his Commonwealth Games title by demolishing Bermuda's Nicholas Kyme.

The world number one breezed into the last 16 with a 9-1 9-0 9-0 win that took just 19 minutes.

"I loved every second of it," said the top seed and reigning world champion.

open quote
Playing for England feels fantastic. I loved every second of it
end quote
Peter Nicol

"I was a bit nervous beforehand, but that was through excitement really because competing for England at the Commonwealth Games is a new experience for me.

"It was a perfect workout and quite a tough game even though that's not reflected in the scoreline."

Nicol, who won the title in Kuala Lumpur as a Scot, changed allegiances last year due to a lack of funding.

Despite the criticism he has had to endure he has no regrets.

"Playing for England feels fantastic," he said. "I loved every second of it.

"The English guys were supporting me and I know them so well.

"I train and practice with them, and I am playing doubles (with British champion Lee Beachill) and it makes me feel part of a team."

He will face ninth seed Anthony Ricketts of Australia on Sunday.

Australia's David Palmer, the Super Series champion, also reached the third round, winning 9-6 9-2 9-5 against Ritwik Bhattacharya of India.

Palmer will face Wales' Alex Gough, who reached the third round with a 9-4 9-3 9-0 win over Shahier Razik of Canada.

Better luck

Chris Walker of England also made a safe passage into the next round with a 9-2 9-1 9-0 victory over Guernsey's Gareth Webber.

But Scotland's Neil Frankland bowed out against Beng Hee Ong of Malaysia, although he did take a game off the sixth seed before surrendering 9-3 9-4 1-9 9-3.

There was better luck for Scotland in the women's competition as 10th seed Pamela Nimmo began her campaign with a routine 9-1 9-0 9-0 success against Naluge Guy of Papua New Guinea.

The 24-year-old, who was born in Edinburgh but is now based in Nottingham, faces Australian eighth seed Rachael Grinham in her next game.

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Five Live's Richard Eaton:
"No surprise that Nicol eased to victory"
Peter Nicol
"I can win gold again"
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See also:

24 Jul 02 | Squash
25 Jul 02 | Squash
20 Jun 02 | Squash
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