Glasgow: Arms aloft and drenched in sweat, England’s Nick Matthew said he had to resort to “caveman” squash to retain his Commonwealth Games gold in a five-set thriller on Monday.
Three-time world champion Matthew, who won the men’s singles and doubles titles in New Delhi four years ago, beat compatriot James Willsdrop 11-9, 8-11, 11-5, 6-11, 11-5 at the Scotstoun Sports Campus.
“Those who know me know that I am not often speechless but I haven’t really got much to say about that. What a battle,” Matthew, England’s flag bearer at the opening ceremony, told reporters.
Winning a Commonwealth medal remains one of the top prizes in squash, after the International Olympic Committee rejected proposals for it to feature at the 2020 and 2024 Olympic Games.
Like Matthew, Malaysia’s Nicol David, who has been women’s world No. 1 for 99 months and has won the World Open title a record seven times, claimed her second Commonwealth gold medal after beating England’s Laura Massaro 12-10, 11-2, 11-5.
South Africa ended New Zealand’s dominance of the Commonwealth Games rugby sevens with a 17-12 victory at Ibrox Stadium on Sunday to win the gold medal.
New Zealand had not lost a Commonwealth match since the sport made its debut in 1998 and they looked to be heading for a fifth consecutive gold when Sherwin Stowers crossed in the first half.
South Africa, who beat Samoa 35-7 to reach the final, came storming back and Seabelo Senatla grabbed two quick tries either side of halftime before Cecil Afrika scored with three minutes remaining.
Joe Webber pulled a late try for New Zealand, setting up a nervous few minutes for Neil Powell's side but the Africans held on for victory.
“It could have gone either way,” New Zealand captain DJ Forbes told reporters. “They put pressure on us but we had a chance to win the game. But it didn’t go to plan and that’s rugby.”
Australia, who lost 19-7 to New Zealand in the semi-finals, beat Samoa 24-0 to win bronze. Rugby will make its return to the Olympics in its abbreviated format in Rio in 2016.
James Magnussen led an Australian sweep of the medals in the 100m freestyle, as his nation continued its dominance of the swimming pool at the Commonwealth Games.
Team Scotland’s 13-year-old Erraid Davies won bronze in the SB9 100m breaststroke final. The para-swimmer is now targeting the Paralympics in Rio. The next stop for the Shetland teenager will be age-group national championships in Sheffield next week.