GC2018 Squash competition a family affair for Urquhart
Donna Urquhart will face a number of challenges in the upcoming GC2018 Squash doubles competition with the main one being who to support in the men's doubles.
Australia’s number one female squash player will be torn between cheering on her future husband and her cousin when they meet on opposite sides of the court in the men’s doubles.
Urquhart is engaged to Scottish player Greg Lobban who will enter the doubles event with teammate Alan Clyne as the second seeds of the competition.
The top seeds for the competition are Urquhart's cousin Cameron Pilley and Ryan Cuskelly, the current World Doubles Championship, a title which was won over the Scottish duo.
Which makes it hard for the Delhi 2010 women’s doubles bronze medallist, who has the tough task of supporting both sides regardless of the outcome.
“So, the Aussies and the Scots played each other in the last World Doubles Championships for the gold medal and I had to sit the nervously not cheering because I didn’t want either of them to lose!” Urquhart told GC2018.com
“I didn’t know how to feel about it.”
The trio all competed in the singles competition at Oxenford Studios last week with both Urquhart and Pilley making it through to the quarterfinals.
Urquhart went down 3-1 to Engand’s number four seed and eventual second place winner, Sarah-Jane Perry while Pilley fought strongly against subsequent gold medal champion England’s James Willstrop, losing 3-2 in a 95-minute marathon - the longest match so far of the Games.
World number 31 Lobban didn’t have such a fruitful campaign, finishing his singles competition in ninth place, with a 3-1 loss to England’s Daryl Selby.
The two Australians will have another two chances to get on the podium, with Urquhart and Pilley partnering up in the mixed competition and competing in the men’s and women’s doubles with partners Rachel Grinham and Cuskelly.
Engaged to Lobban for over a year, the couple have not only been busy preparing for their competition on court at GC2018 but have also planned to wed just two weeks after the Closing Ceremony.
“Basically, the background story to that is my fiancé is also a squash player competing at the Commonwealth Games,” Urquhart said.
“He’s from Scotland, his family was all coming over to Australia to watch him play anyway and we sort of figured they probably couldn’t afford to come back to Australia for a wedding anytime soon after.
“So, we tried to save everyone two airfares and chuck the wedding straight after the Games.
“In a way we have something really good to look forward to after the Games, so I’m excited about that.”
With the couple based in Edinburgh, Scotland, Urquhart also admitted the Gold Coast Games gave her some leverage to have a wedding at home.
The 31-year-old grew up with Pilley in Yamba, a small country town two hours south of the Gold Coast, where her family still resides.
A community of around 6,000, a large contingent of Urquhart family and friends have made the trip up the M1 to support the cousins.
Especially with the GC2018 event being the first opportunity to see her in action due to most squash competitions held in the US, Europe, UK and Asia.
“It’s a beautiful little town, but a tiny little place. Our families are still there, and I still call it home. Mum and Dad and the brothers, everybody’s still there,” Urquhart said.
“There’s loads of people coming to watch the squash from Yamba that I’ve known my whole life and they’ve never seen me play squash.
“So, it’s really exciting actually because they all of a sudden see a different side to me. They might see me at the beach or surfing or something but have never actually seen me play squash.
“They don’t maybe follow that closely but everyone’s getting really excited about the Games and a lot of people are coming to watch both Cameron and I.
“It’s really cool just because it’s so accessible to them.”
Clinching two major titles in recent months including December's Monte Carlo Classic followed by the Cincinnati Gaynor Cup, Urquhart is enjoying the best form of her career.
And the best result she could ask for at the Gold Coast Games is gold for both her and her fiancé but regardless of the outcome, Urquhart knows they will still have a party for the ages.
“If we could both medal, but obviously if we both came away with gold medals that would be beyond our dreams, it would be so cool” she said.
“Hopefully we have something to celebrate afterwards, and if we don’t, we’re still celebrating our marriage. That’s a win-win for sure.”
There are tickets still available to the GC2018 Squash doubles. Join Urquhart on the sidelines and support the duos as they fight it out for gold. Snap up yours today.