Team Scotland’s Squash athletes have been hard at work testing out the competition courts ahead of the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Located in Oxenford Studios, Queensland’s home of movie blockbusters, the Squash competition will be contested in an impressive purpose-built venue in Sound Stage 9, which was used to film big-screen hits such as Thor and Unbroken.
Scotland’s Squash team had their second day of training in the facility today after arriving in the country on Sunday (25 March). We caught up with the athletes during their session to find out how it felt to hit the courts.
Alison Thomson, Women’s Singles and Women’s Doubles player about to make her Games debut, said: “The venue is absolutely brilliant, and there’s a very bold colour scheme in place which is very striking – it’s definitely got the wow-factor.
“Having visited the venue and trained on the main competition court, I’m really looking forward to getting the chance to play in front of the crowds.”
The Squash competition schedule will see matches played every day of the Games from Thursday 5 April until Sunday 15 April, with Team Scotland competing in all five disciplines: Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles.
Kevin Moran, Men’s Singles and Mixed Doubles player from Paisley, said: “Glasgow’s main competition court was one of the most impressive I’ve seen, and this is definitely on a par with that. The venue looks incredible and it’s great to see how they’ve utilised the space to make sure the crowds get a real show.”
This week also marked the finalisation of the draw and confirmation of seedings for the competition, which sees Scotland’s Alan Clyne and Greg Lobban seeded second for the Men’s Doubles competition.
Alan, from Inverness, said: “With Doubles, there’s no real ranking system so we were happy to see we’d been seeded second for the Games – although we’ve put in a lot of hard work so it’s well-earned!
“We’re up against a lot of good teams in our pool, and we haven’t played them before as Doubles, so we’re set for some good matches early on in the competition.”
In 2016, the pair claimed World Doubles Championships gold against Australia’s Zac Alexander & David Palmer. Defending that title in 2017, the pair had to settle for silver against Australia’s Ryan Cuskelly & Cameron Pilley.
With the possibility of meeting one of Australia’s Men’s Doubles teams on the table again, the scene is now set for an epic showdown between the 2018 and 2014 Games hosts!
Greg, also from Inverness, said: “We’re pretty excited about the possibility of playing Australia again – however we’re very aware of the competition which will come before that which includes some real big threats.
“However we’ve put in a lot of training and hard work, and we’re determined to do Scotland proud.”