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Saturday July 25, 2009

Nicol David retains World Games crown

KUALA LUMPUR: Nicol David retained the World Games women’s squash title with a commanding win over Natalie Grinham of Holland in the final in Koahsiung yesterday.

The three-time world champion beat the Australia-born second seed 11-6, 11-8, 11-6 in just 38 minutes to deliver the first gold medal for Malaysia in the Games.

Malaysia's Nicol David retrieves the ball in the women's final match against Natalie Grinham of Holland. World number one Nicol won the final in straight sets to retain the World Games title in Koahsiung, Taiwan on Friday. Courtesy of KOC-CNA.

At the last Games in Duisburg, Germany, in 2005, Nicol defeated Natalie’s elder sister, Rachael, in the final.

Nicol, who has been ranked No. 1 in the world for the last three years, did not drop a set en route to winning the gold this time.

It was the fourth title for Nicol this year, having won the Cayman Islands Open, Texas Open and Seoul Open. Her only defeat this year was in the final of Kuala Lumpur Open in March, losing to Natalie Grainger of the United States.

Nicol’s next tournament is the Malaysian Open starting on Wednesday.

The Squash Racquets Association of Malaysia (SRAM) president, Datuk A. Sani Karim, said that Nicol had been awesome in winning honours for the country.

“I congratulate Nicol for retaining the World Games title and I hope that she will continue to win more titles in her career,’’ said Sani, who is also the president of the Asian Squash Federation.

Malaysia have a bronze medal from the men’s competition with national No. 1 Mohd Azlan Iskandar claiming it by default after Stewart Boswell of Australia retired in his semi-final match against James Willstrop of England because of injury.

England’s Nick Matthew, who narrowly defeated Azlan in the semi-finals on Thursday, lived up to his top billing, beating second seed and compatriot James Willstrop 11-8, 11-6, 11-5 in 42 minutes to take the gold medal.

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