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Kiwi gold medallists Paul Coll and Joelle King celebrate victory in the Commonwealth Games mixed doubles final.
Paul Coll planned to “skip the ice bath and have a few beers’’ to mark his Commonwealth Games mixed doubles squash gold medal – but Joelle King’s celebrations will have to wait a day.
A haka broke out in the stands as the Kiwi pair clinched New Zealand’s 19th gold medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games after a 11-3, 11-6 win over England’s world doubles championship silver medallists Adrian Waller and Alison Waters in the final on Sunday (Monday NZ time).
King – who is in the women’s doubles final on Monday (Tuesday NZ time) – said later that the duo were “gutted’’ at getting a bronze medal on the Gold Coast four years ago and she was delighted to now get her first mixed doubles gold.
Coll acclaimed his two gold medals at Birmingham as the “best two weeks’’ of his career and urged his mother, Julie, watching at home in Greymouth to “go easy on the champagne, Mum’’.
King copped an accidental shiner after a brush with a face shield as she and Coll prepared to hug as they exuberantly celebrated their success.
Coll’s second gold medal followed his triumph in the men’s singles last week.
King atoned for missing the medals in the women’s singles after entering the tournament as defending champion and top seed.
This was her seventh Commonwealth Games medal in a career dating back to 2010 as a 21-year-old.
She now has four golds – after women’s doubles triumphs at Delhi in 2010 and on the Gold Coast in 2018 and a singles crown at the Gold Coast.
The mixed doubles gold was the third career Games medal for 30-year-old Coll, a two-time British Open champion and world number two.
After Coll and King dispatched India’s world doubles champions Sourav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal Karthik in the semifinals, King revealed to Sky Sport that the pair hadn’t practised together since their bronze medal campaign in 2018, but their friendship and the fun they were having was carrying them through.
They made no race of the final from the outset, establishing a six-point lead midway through the first game before extending it to eight points in an 11-3 win.
Coll looked fresh after his singles gold medal feat and his court coverage and power, allied with King’s deft touches, proved too much for the English pair.
Waller and Waters – energised by the partisan English crowd – were more competitive in the second game.
They were pressing the Kiwis at 8-6 down, until Waters made an error on the backhand, which eased the pressure and the Kiwis closed it out 11-6.
As Coll and King left the court in triumph, Kiwi supporters – including Sport New Zealand chief executive Raelene Castle – launched into an impromptu haka in the stands.
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