6 Aug 2017

King leads Kiwi defence of Squash World Doubles titles

10:53 am on 6 August 2017

New Zealand has come away with two gold medals and a bronze from the World Doubles Squash Championships in Manchester after successful title defences this morning.

Joelle King

Joelle King Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The medal tally equals last year's and the same pairings took out the titles with Joelle King the common denominator in both.

Top seeds and defending champions King and Amanda Landers-Murphy beat England's Jenny Duncalf and Alison Waters, the women's fifth seeds.

The English duo took the first game 11-9 before King and Landers-Murphy stormed back in the second game winning it 11-1 and then racing to a 6-2 lead in the decider.

The English pair fought back, levelling at 7-all and earning two match balls at 10-8. The Kiwis regrouped to save both match balls and after a series of tense rallies, New Zealand triumphed 11-10 after 46 minutes.

"That was so tough," said a relieved Landers-Murphy. "We were ahead in all the games, just glad that we could stay strong and keep it together at the end."

The mixed final also featured the defending champions against English opposition, with King and Waters straight back on court with partners Paul Coll and Daryl Selby.

The Kiwis held sway in the first game, winning it 11-8, but the English pair pulled back a deficit in the second to level sets 11-9.

It was all New Zealand in the decider though, as Coll and King stayed ahead, retaining their title 11-6 in 47 minutes as Coll drove a ball down the middle for a winner.

"We felt good together again today," said a delighted Coll. "We dropped off a bit in the second, but managed to get early leads in the first and third, which always takes the pressure off.

"We have a great team spirit in the Kiwi camp, it's been a tough week to start the season off, but a lot of fun, and we're obviously delighted to be going back with more gold medals."

Yesterday Coll and Auckland's Campbell Grayson confirmed their bronze medal in the men's doubles, the same medal they won at the world champs last year.

For King, 28 the wins were just reward after she felt the weight of being a defending champion in two of the events.

"I'm really happy we came here with pressure on our shoulders obviously going in, in both of the events as top seeds in my parings.

"I think it's just positive for us all looking at the season ahead and moving forward to the Commonwealth Games."