September 14 , 1998 22:22PM

SQUASH - WORLD CHAMPION RODNEY EYLES OUT FROM MEDAL HUNT
 
By Zabidi Osman & Zaiful Mohd Ariffin

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 14 (Bernama) -- Paul Johnson of England caused a major upset today by beating current world champion Rodney Eyles of Australia in the men's singles quarterfinal of the 16th Commonwealth Games squash competition at the National Squash Complex here today.

Johnson, the world number eight, performed a superb squash game in a three games battle to kick out the world number four and the number three seeds, 9-1, 10-8, 9-2.

"I have played according to plan and it was not easy to beat the world champion...he just made more mistakes than me," said Johnson after the match.

Johnson, who is seeded sixth, said it was their first encounter after seven years but not the first win as he had beaten the Aussie in league matches.

"I think he is bit nervous and a little slow as he was yard of the pace," said the 26-year old Johnson who obviously had the age advantage over the 31-year old champion.

In the semi finals tommorrow, Johnson will meet world number one Peter Nicol of Scotland who had an easy win against England's Mark Chaloner 9-5, 9-3, 9-3 in the other quarterfinals clash today.

"It is going to be an exciting as both of us playing fast game," he said.

Nicol had beaten Johnson in the quarterfinals stage of the Hong Kong Open last month.

Meanwhile, Nicol's is confident of repeating his win over Johnson to pave way for his revenge match with Canadian Jonathon Power who had beaten him in the Hong Open final last month.

"It's a tough win and I am confident of reaching the finals as I have keep improving my form in every matches," said the top seed Scottish after his victory over Chaloner.

In an earlier match, Power, the number two seeds easily dismissed Wales David Evans in a straight games of 9-1, 9-2, 9-2.

It was a straight forward match from the start for Power who dominated the games with his fast shots and tricky drops.

"Evans could not cope with my fast pace, he's a little bit slow especially when he wants to turn at the back of the court," said Power.

His route to the finals, however, will be tough as he will be facing a formidable opponent in the form of another Welshman, the fourth seeds Alex Gough.

The in-form Gough also recorded a three nil victory when he defeated giant killer Craig Wapnick of South Africa in the other quarter finals clash at the centre court.

"Alex (Gough) is a good player, he is very fast and I am expecting a tough match against him tomorrow," said Power.--BERNAMA

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