Nicol David hopes her Commonwealth Games squash gold medal helps lift Malaysian spirits
Malaysian squash ace Nicol David said she hoped her gold medal at the Commonwealth Games would help lift the spirits of her compatriots battered by the tragedy of two airliner disasters.
David and Nick Matthew successfully defended their Games singles squash titles with victories at the Scotstoun Sports Campus on Monday.
Malaysian world number one David recovered from a slow start to beat England’s Laura Massaro 12-10, 11-2, 11-5 in just 44 minutes while Matthew emerged from a five-game thriller to beat compatriot James Willstrop 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-5 in one hour and 40 minutes.
Afterwards, David hoped her triumph would provide Malaysia with a much-needed lift following the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 and the missing MH370.
“It is a tough time for Malaysia and our nation,” said David, who is now based in Amsterdam.
“Games like this really bring our spirits up. We are working together for something bigger than ourselves and we hope our contribution can bring a bit of a boost to our country.
“I live in Amsterdam and people were worried I was flying back to Malaysia. It was a little bit daunting when I heard it and my heart goes out to the families of people were on that flight.
“It’s always tough playing Laura, there’s always a fine line when you play her.”
Massaro could not build on a good start where she led 8-4 and 9-7 in the first game, and there was some controversy in the third game when the English woman was hit in the face by David’s racquet and had a stroke awarded against her.
Massaro appealed to the video referee but the decision was not overturned and David never looked back to triumph.
“The first game was the one to rue, you can’t let those leads slip against Nicol,” she said. “I didn’t feel the ball was near where Nicol’s racquet was and I got a bit of a bruise from where she hit me.”