Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS) and Scottish Squash today announced the six players (four men and two women) selected to represent Team Scotland in the singles, doubles and mixed doubles events. This is the sixth Scottish sport competing in Delhi to have its athlete selections confirmed.
Squash is one of ten core sports at the Commonwealth Games and made its debut in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur. The 2010 squash competition will be held at the Siri Fort Sports Complex 4-13 October. There are a total of five gold medals to be contested in singles (men’s and women’s) and doubles (men’s, women’s and mixed). Singles events will involve a knockout draw, with the best two players progressing to the gold medal match. The doubles competition involves a round robin with successful teams qualifying for the knockout medal rounds.
Two of the players named today, Harry Leitch and Frania Gillen-Buchert were in the 2006 Scottish team and will be keen to build on their Commonwealth Games experience. Whilst all six players were in Scotland’s 2010 European Championship team that finished 7th.
25 year old Harry Leitch from Edinburgh will team up in the men’s doubles with Scottish number one Alan Clyne, 24, from Munlochy near Inverness. 21 year old Lyall Paterson a squash professional based in Philadelphia, USA will partner Chris Small, who is a squash coach in Florence, Italy.
Frania Gillen-Buchert from Edinburgh will play with Lisa Aitken of Montrose in the women’s doubles and with Clyne in the mixed whilst Lisa will join Leitch in the mixed doubles.
Amongst the biggest challenges to selection for squash has been the lack of international doubles competitions through which to qualify. Scottish Squash has gone to great lengths to gain suitable competition, with Head Coach Roger Flynn organising an international invitational doubles tournament in Manchester to test our athletes against the best in the Commonwealth. The tournament held in March attracted strong support from the major Commonwealth Games countries including Australia, Malaysia, India, Wales, England and Scotland, with the glittering entry list included most of the best singles players in the world including World Nos.1, 2, 4 and 10. It gave Scottish players the perfect opportunity to pitch themselves against top level opposition with some considerable success, notably Clyne and Leitch finishing fourth in the men’s doubles.
Congratulating the team, Michael Cavanagh, Chairman of Commonwealth Games Scotland said: “I am absolutely delighted that squash has qualified six athletes for Delhi and I would like to welcome them all to Team Scotland. They have gone the extra mile to earn their places on the team and I hope that they now can focus over these next two months on their final preparations that will put them in the best possible shape for the Games.”
Jon Doig, Team Scotland Chef de Mission added: “All six players can feel rightly proud of their achievement in being selected for Team Scotland. This is the first step to achieving their goals in Delhi and all the support staff look forward to ensuring they have every opportunity to excel at the Games.”
On behalf of Scottish Squash, Head Coach Roger Flynn said: “Scottish squash players have a long tradition of success in the sport and this team, with its mixture of experience and youth, has demonstrated that they have the ingredients to take on the best squash playing nations in the world. We are particularly targeting the doubles competitions where we believe that the playing field is very level and that we have the best chance of medalling.”
Athlete Events Age Lives
Alan Clyne, Singles, Men’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, 24yrs, Born Munlochy, Black Isle, lives Edinburgh EH11 3AL
Harry Leitch, Singles, Men’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, 25yrs, Born Edinburgh, lives Cambridge CB3 0DG
Lyall Paterson, Singles, Men’s Doubles, 21yrs, Born Aberdeen, lives Philadelphia, USA
Chris Small, Singles, Men’s Doubles, 32yrs, Born Dunfermline, lives Florence, Italy
Lisa Aitken, Singles, Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, 20yrs, Born, Montrose, lives Edinburgh EH11 1GW
Frania Gillen-Buchert, Singles, Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles, 28yrs, Born Cape Town South Africa, lives Edinburgh EH14
Squash Team Leader, Linda Davie, 59yrs, Macclesfield
Head Coach, Roger Flynn, 56yrs, Edinburgh EH14 5RU