The New Zealand Squash team has been announced for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow from July 23 - August 3.
The New Zealand Olympic Committee has confirmed an eight strong line-up that is led by women's world number fourJoelle King.
King was the star of the 2010 campaign in Delhi, claiming a gold medal in the women's doubles with Jaclyn Hawkes and silver in the mixed doubles with Martin Knight. She also finished fifth in the singles. Her efforts were rewarded with the honour of carrying the New Zealand flag in the closing ceremony.
The 2010 medal haul continued a tradition of success for New Zealand on the squash court at the Games. At Manchester in 2002 the team picked up two golds and a silver and four years later added a silver and bronze in Melbourne. 25-year-old King will represent New Zealand in three events in Glasgow - the singles, women's doubles and mixed doubles.
Martin Knight will once again partner King in the mixed doubles, but Jaclyn Hawkes has now retired, opening up the opportunity for another player to partner King in the women's doubles. That opportunity has fallen to Bay of Plenty's Amanda Landers-Murphy, ranked number 43 in the world. Landers-Murphy will also play the mixed doubles with rising star Paul Coll from Canterbury.
Two of the remaining four players are backing up from the Delhi Games, with Campbell Grayson partnering Knight in the men's doubles and Kylie Lindsay pairing up in the women's doubles with another rising star from Canterbury, Megan Craig. 22-year-old Craig is in top form at the moment, winning the WSA Tour's Northern Territory Open in Australia at the weekend.
New Zealand Olympic Committee CEO says she is delighted to welcome the Commonwealth Games athletes back for Glasgow 2014. "Squash was a strong contributor at Delhi 2010 and while competition will be tough, we are nonetheless looking forward to the team making us proud."
The other new face in the team is 21-year-old Aucklander Lance Beddoes, who will partner Coll in the men's doubles.
Squash New Zealand Chief Executive, Jim O'Grady is thrilled with the team that is traveling to Glasgow. "It's fantastic. We're excited that the New Zealand Olympic Committee selected all eight players which will see the country represented by a very strong side. Obviously, Joelle is a great chance for a medal in the singles, but New Zealand has also excelled at doubles in recent years and we believe this line-up is more than capable of continuing our proud run at the Games".
New Zealand Squash Team (world ranking in brackets):
Joelle King (4) - Waikato
Megan Craig (42) - Canterbury
Amanda Landers-Murphy (43) - Bay of Plenty
Kylie Lindsay (55) - Waikato
Campbell Grayson (42) - Auckland
Martin Knight (48) - Auckland
Paul Coll (87) - Canterbury
Lance Beddoes (171) - Auckland
Women's Singles - Joelle King
Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy
Megan Craig and Kylie Lindsay
Men's Doubles Martin Knight and Campbell Grayson
Paul Coll and Lance Beddoes
Mixed Doubles Martin Knight and Joelle King
Paul Coll and Amanda Landers-Murphy
New Zealand Olympic Committee selectors have also endorsed a Squash New Zealand request to allow the athletes selected as part of a Doubles Team to participate at the Games in singles events.
For more information contact:
Ashley Abbott Communications Manager New Zealand Olympic Committee firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Pittans High Performance Director Squash NZ email@example.com 021875204