King knocked out of gold medal race at Commonwealth Games

By Contributor

Photo / FILE

By Bonnie Jansen, Te Rito Journalism Cadet

Squash favourite Joelle King (Ngāti Porou) has been knocked out of the gold medal race in Birmingham. 

As with her quarter-final match, King faced another four-game battle this morning, eventually going down to world No 20 Hollie Naughton of Canada.

Aotearoa's flagbearer's 11-7 3-11 8-11 1-11 defeat was a huge triumph for the Canadian. 

After a textbook first-game win, 11-7, the defending champion went downhill from there.

The underdog went on to win the next three convincingly, leaving a massive upset in the squash world. 

In the final game, King won just one point.

The loss comes after the quarterfinal scare the Māori star had the day before against England's Lucy Turmel.

After falling in the first 9-11 to world No 28, King fought back in a clash that could have gone either way. 

King took the second 18-16 after earlier leading 10-8.

In the third, King was up 8-6 before a fight back from the Englishwoman to 8-8 until the New Zealander won 11-9. 

In the fourth-game duel, King was down 3-5, before she gained momentum to win the next six points. And after an incredible fight from Turmel, the world No 5 went on to win 14-12. 

New Zealand women's top seed will play for bronze in the singles, tomorrow at 3am NZ time. 

She'll also get another chance at gold when she partners up with Amanda Landers-Murphy (Te Āti Awa) in the doubles on Thursday night. 

Thanks to New Zealand men's number one, Paul Coll, a gold medal is still up for grabs in the squash singles. 

Coll won in three, 11-9, 11-4, 11-1 to India's Saurav Ghosal, advancing through to tomorrow's final where he'll seek redemption after picking up a silver in 2018. 

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