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Sunday, 28 July, 2002, 20:19 GMT 21:19 UK

Nimmo aims to defy odds again

By Clive Lindsay
BBC Sport Online in Manchester

It is an indication of Pam Nimmo's determination to reach the top that she is not satisfied with having returned so quickly to the world ranking she achieved before suffering a life-threatening illness.

The 24-year-old Scottish player was struck by deep vein thrombosis - often known as 'economy class syndrome' - during a long-haul air flight 18 months ago.

That came just as she reached number 15 in the world.

She was back to that level after a year of battling to rid herself of an illness that left her with only half an effective lung.

"I was really pleased to get back to 15 in the world but got stuck there"
Pam Nimmo

But Edinburgh-born Nimmo knows that she still has much to do after losing in the second round of the Commonwealth Games to Rachael Grinham.

The Australian was seeded just two places above Nimmo's number 10 but swept to a 9-6 9-3 9-4 win.

"It is frustrating as I was really pleased to get back to 15 but have got stuck there," Nimmo told BBC Sport Online.

"I will have to train harder and become stronger and faster to compete with girls at her level.

"She had much more control over the ball and played some brilliant shots."

"I am lucky to be alive"
Pam Nimmo

Nimmo had been troubled with a shortage of stamina on court until her hugely-reduced lung capacity was properly diagnosed.

Doctors said that it was her high level of fitness that saved her life, but it was still six months before she could pick a squash racquet up again.

"It is frustrating that my illness came just as I had shot up the rankings, but I am lucky to be alive," she said.

There was more disappointment for the Scots at the National Squash Centre in Manchester on Sunday.

Wendy Maitland, the number 15 seed, was on the brink of upsetting number six Stephanie Brind before a late collapse allowed the Englishwoman to claim victory by 9-5 2-9 7-9 9-0 9-0.

World number one Sarah Fitz-Gerald stretched her unbeaten record to 52 matches by easing aside Sharon Wee of Malaysia 9-2 9-0 9-2.

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