Joelle King looking for gold standard

By Rahia Timutimu

One Māori who wants to add to the list of gold medals by winning three of her own is Joelle King, who played her first squash game of the competition last night. 

The Ngāti Porou descendant easily beat her opponent Deon Saffery from Wales last night- three matches to none.

King says, "It was nice to come with a three-love win.  Dion is good, I've been playing her since I was young.

We've always had some battles over the years so it's nice to come off a little bit fresh".

It should be a walk in the park for her as she's been here many times before.

"I'm showing my age now.  This is my third one.  Nerves? I don't really get too nervous now.

"I just really want to go out and play and represent the country and play for something bigger than just yourself," she explains.

King has set high goals for herself. 

She says, "I'm seated two in the singles, one in the mixed doubles and one in the women's doubles so there's no need to shy away from the fact that I want to come away with three golds.

"I've said time in time again- that's my goal.  But you can always come up short.  It's nice to put it out there and everyone knows that's what I'm going for so we'll see what happens".

She's also loving the fact that this competition is not far from home.

"It's nice- number one- that we don't have to go on a long flight," says King.

"Being able to have whānau and friends come across and there's a lot of people I know that live here.  I think there's 50,000 Kiwis that live here so I'm expecting a lot of Kiwis throughout the week so it just makes it a home games really".