Squash: ‘Fantastic’ Commonwealth Games opening ceremony

James Willstrop
James Willstrop
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It’s been a whirlwind week of action and excitement at my third Commonwealth Games here in Glasgow.

The anticipation and excitement around the city has been something else, and the event really swung into gear for the athletes at the opening ceremony at Celtic Park. Of the three opening ceremonies I have attended this was the best. The stadium was, I think, more compact and created an electric atmosphere. The crowd reaction to the athletes was fantastic in the true sense of the word.

We had a few days to enjoy some light training and life in the village, where the 4,500 athletes are stationed for the two weeks, but come Thursday squash started, and it carries on daily until the third. So, as we are straight into playing and concentrating on the matches it has been difficult to feel the complete atmosphere of the Games.

There were some top-class matches over the course of the weekend. England’s Laura Massaro’s match with Nicolette Fernandes was very special, with the Guyanan player diving all over the court in some desperate and entertaining squash on Friday night. Saurav Ghosal’s match against Cempbell Grayson of New Zealand was another nail-biter, and Scotland had a big cheer when Alan Clyne beat Harinder Pal Sandhu of India in five on Friday.

The crowds have been massive and phenomenal. 2000 a night have been rocking in to watch the squash each day. At press, I play the final against Nick Matthew, and Laura Massaro plays Nicol David.

James Willstrop, lefvt, in action against Mohamed ElShorbagy in Dubai. Picture courtesy of PSA

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