Gold medal for NZ’s Coll and King in mixed doubles squash

Brodyn Knuckey
Source: 1News

New Zealand squash stars Joelle King and Paul Coll have added to a morning of medals for Aotearoa after winning the mixed doubles final on Monday.

King and Coll came into the final in dominating form, having not dropped a single game en route to the showpiece match against England's Alison Waters and Adrian Waller.

Despite admitting they hadn't even trained together for the event in Birmingham, their dominance continued in the first game of the match at the University of Birmingham as Coll's acrobatics and King's power saw them open with an 11-3 win in game one.

"This week, something just clicked," King told 1News after the final.

"We were always aware of what each other were doing, we knew where the space was on the court; in sport, sometimes, you just have that."

Regardless of England's best efforts to rattle the New Zealand powerhouse, the Kiwi duo were ready for anything that was thrown at them and the frustration started to show with Waller questioning the referee's calls on multiple occasions before throwing his racket away at match point.

"Oohs" and "aahs" on English points along with chants of "come on England" didn't help the hometown team either although that wasn't to say New Zealand wasn't well represented in the stands with athletes, friends and family all in attendance for King's first final in Birmingham.

Eventually the Kiwis sealed the second game 11-6 and with it the match, helping King in her quest to "make amends" for her disappointing singles campaign last week.

King said she thought their champion chemistry despite little practice was a reflection of the strong culture present in the New Zealand squash scene as well as the New Zealand team in Birmingham. Coll then added that King - now a seven-time Commonwealth Games medallist - was a leading reason why the culture was so strong in New Zealand's squash community.

Joelle King and Paul Coll share a moment at the Commonwealth Games.

"She's led New Zealand squash for God knows how many years and she's almost created the culture," Coll said.

"She's done this for years and [her rebounding after finishing fourth in the women's singles] is a true testament to her character and who she is as a person and how she prepares for playing for New Zealand."

King's redemption mission isn't over though with her final alongside Amanda Landers-Murphy in the women's doubles still to come on the final day of action in Birmingham on Tuesday morning NZT.

"It's hard because I'm so overwhelmed and excited at the moment that we've just won but I've got a doping test and then I've got to come back tomorrow and play another final so I'm trying to keep things under wraps," King said.

"But I'm super proud of us."