New Zealand's comeback queen Joelle King wins Squash gold
New Zealand's Joelle King has capped off a remarkable comeback from a ruptured Achilles in August 2014 to become New Zealand's first Commonwealth Games individual squash gold medallist.
King defeated English No.4 seed Sarah-Jane Perry 3-2 at Oxenford Studios.
The New Zealander returned to the top five in the world for the first time in four years this April having dropped as low as No.57 during her injury layoff. She was ranked number four heading into the Games.
"I had an injury that kept me out for a long time and I never thought I'd get back to this level," King said following her win.
King claimed the first two games 16-14, 11-8 in a messy opening as both players battled early nerves and referee disputes.
Perry was able to stay in the contest, winning the third game 11-6, despite having to take an injury timeout after crashing head first into the side wall at 8-5.
It seemed to have little effect as she closed out the third and dug deep to win the fourth 13-11. But King was able to regain her composure in the decider, jumping out to a 5-0 lead. That proved decisive as she fought off one last Perry surge to win the game 11-8 and seal victory in 78 minutes.
It was King's sixth-straight win over the Englishwoman.
King now turns her attention to women's and mixed doubles where she can emulate Australia's Natalie Grinham, who swept all three gold medals at the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games.
King will partner with Amanda Landers-Murphy in the women's doubles and Paul 'Superman' Coll in the mixed event.
It wasn't quite the perfect night for New Zealand, with Coll defeated by England's James Willstrop 3-0 in the gold medal match. Malaysia's Nafizwan Adnan won bronze, defeating Joel Makin 3-2.
In other Squash news, Tesni Evans secured Wales' first women's Commonwealth Games squash medal, defeating two-time singles gold medallist Nicol David 3-1 in the bronze-medal match.
The GC2018 Squash competition continues until Sunday 15 April.