|Nicol, Michelle win gold
September 17, 1998
THURS: The melody from the bagpipe just before the
men's singles final set the stage for Scotland's
Peter Nicol to clinch the gold medal in a nail-biting
clash against Canada's Jonathan Power at the National
Squash Centre yesterday.
And what a final it was as both played brilliant
squash and made the match a fitting finale for the
Both players tried to outwit each other for 80
minutes before Power surrendered the gold to the
world No 1 with a 3-9, 9-2, 9-1, 2-9, 9-2 score.
The victory not only made amends for Nicol's six
consecutive losses to Power, but also gave Scotland
their first gold of the Games.
Yesterday, Power again demonstrated his racquet
skills to perfection and his court antics often
brought cheers from the crowd.
But it didn't help his cause.
The Canadian was in control in the first game and his
deft dropshots and deceptive flicks caught Nicol on
the wrong foot several times.
Nicol, 25, hung on in the second and some
questionable let calls by referee Peter Lawrence
rattled Power, who lost 9-2.
Power then lost concentration and oten disputed the
referee's decisions. Nicol took the third easily at
Once, Power even complained to the referee that Nicol
pushed him, which was overruled.
"You mean there is a light push and a medium one
in squash?" asked a bemused Power, which drew
laughter from the crowd.
But the Toronto-born Power got back his deft touches
and humour in the fourth, which he won comfortably.
Both were evenly matched in the fifth but Power's
failure to finish off the task at hand made him lose
"I am very happy, not only in beating Power for
the first time after six losses but winning the first
gold medal here for Scotland," Nicol said.
"This win is as important as my British Open
win. I'm looking forward to the World Open in
December to complete my target this year."
Asked about Power's court antics, Nicol said he was
always been like that in almost every matches.
"It was slightly a bit too mouch today as his
racquet almost hit my head.
"Sometimes disputes against the referee helps
him but I didn't think it helped him today,"
Power said he played very well and was unfortunate
not to win.
"There were some bad calls and I missed a few
points which should have been awarded but it does not
really matter now," he said.
In the women's final, in-form second seed Michelle
Martin demolished top seeded compatriot Sarah
Fitz-Gerald 9-0, 9-6, 9-5 to win the gold.
Sarah was simply trying too hard to beat Michelle,
who had won four out of five meetings this year, the
last being at the Singapore Open final three weeks
But Michelle stood like a rock and the gold medal has
made her the most complete woman squash player of all
time, after having won the world championships three
times and British Open six times.
"I've won the world title and British Open but
this win rates higher than all of them as this is the
first time squash is in the Commonwealth Games,"
"Sarah is a tough competitor and there was no
certainty of the gold until I clinched the final
"I know Sarah is very disappointed, particularly
as it was against me. But I'm sure she will bounce
back in the doubles."