HARROGATE’S Jenny Duncalf admitted she was relieved to end the waiting as she got her bid for Commonwealth Games doubles squash glory underway on the Gold Coast.
The 35-year-old was kept busy on day six of the Games when she played in both the women’s and mixed parings events.
A double silver medallist in the women’s singles and doubles in Delhi back in 2010 before adding another second place in the doubles four years later, Duncalf is no stranger to competitive action at the Commonwealths, making her debut back in 2006 in Melbourne.
Yesterday, Duncalf enjoyed a win with women’s doubles partner Alison Waters over Scottish rivals Lisa Aitken & Alison Thomson (SCO) 11-10, 11-4 (20m), the second seeds taking just 20 minutes to secure victory in the first round Pool A encounter.
In the mixed event, Duncalf is seeded seventh with Adrian Waller. They had a tough first round Pool D match-up with Amanda Landers-Murphy & Zac Millar, the 10th seeds from New Zealand before prevailing 11-5, 10-11, 11-5 in 38 minutes.
“Doubles always is fast and furious – it’s definitely more frantic than singles and you can’t afford to fall back on your feet at any time in the entire match,” said former world No 2 Duncalf, making her fourth appearance in the Games.
“We were pleased to come back strong in the third game . It may well be my fourth Games, but I’m still young at heart and on occasions like this and tournaments like the Commonwealth Games, I still get so excited.
“Just watching, it’s brilliant, but we’ve been chomping at the bit to get on court.”
Waller added: “We seem to have been waiting a week or 10 days – so it’s great to get out there. There’s nothing that beats being on court.
“We have managed to practise every day. We settled really well there (in the match) and are happy to move on to tomorrow.
It may well be my fourth Games, but I’m still young at heart and on occasions like this and tournaments like the Commonwealth Games, I still get so excited.Harrogate’s Jenny Duncalf
“We’ve played bits and pieces over the summer – but this is the first time we’ve played competitively.”
Elsewhere, Ben Proud successfully defended his men’s 50 metres freestyle title but could not double up as England were pipped to another swimming gold by Australia in the 4 x 100m medley.
Proud set Games records in the freestyle heat and in the semi-final and clocked 21.35 seconds to take gold ahead of South Africa’s Bradley Tandy.
In the final race of the night Proud was bidding to bring England home but Kyle Chambers overhauled him in the final stroke.
Australia won in a Games record three minutes 31.04 seconds, with England’s Luke Greenbank, Adam Peaty, James Guy and Proud just 0.09secs back
Holly Hibbott took silver and Ellie Faulkner bronze as Australia’s Ariarne Titmus won the women’s 400m freestyle.
It turned into a night of frustration at the athletics as reigning world champion Andy Pozzi of England could only finish sixth in a 110m hurdles final won by Jamaica’s Ronald Levy.
Sophie Hitchon was then eliminated from the hammer throw final after fouling three times.