Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Kiwi squash medal hopefuls Paul Coll, Joelle King advance to semi-finals in contrasting styles

After contrasting victories, both of New Zealand's squash medal hopefuls have advanced to their tournament semi-finals at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

Defending champion and NZ flag bearer Joelle King was made to work in her quarter-final to defeat, beating England's Lucy Turmel 11-9, 16-18, 11-9, 14-2.

Paul Coll meanwhile had an easier time of things in comparison, defeating England's Adran Waller 12-10, 11-4, 11-7.

Joelle King after defeating Lucy Turmel.
Joelle King after defeating Lucy Turmel. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

King will square off against Canada's Hollie Naughton for a place in the gold medal match, while Coll lines up against India's Saurav Ghosal.

Speaking after his victory, Coll outlined his pride at seeing other members of the Kiwi side in Birmingham stand on the dais, and makes no bones of his desire to join them.

"Amazing," Coll said of his Birmingham experience so far. "I'm having a great time here to be honest.

"That really got me going. Seeing all the New Zealand athletes win medals makes me so hungry. I want that.

"But at the same time, [I'm] just enjoying my time here. The New Zealand team is fantastic, I'm meeting a lot of great people.

"It's just an amazing time. If I do my business on court, I'll try and make my country proud, myself proud, and enjoy my time here."

And after King's effort that saw her question whether her defence of the 2018 gold medal won on the Gold Coast was over, the 33-year-old's win gives her a huge boost heading into the last four.

"It's about trying to inspire everyone back home, the next generation," King told Newshub.

"During the second game, I was thinking 'you might lose this, how are you going to feel walking back to the village?'

"Even if you do lose, you've just got to leave it all out here. I literally, every single point, I played as though it was my last point.

"It was pure fight and pure spirit. Sometimes you're more proud of those kinds of matches than the ones where you win and play the perfect squash.

"I'll take a lot of confidence from that match. Physically I feel very, very good, just a little bit of the emotions got the better of me.

"But hopefully, I've got that out of the way now. Tomorrow's a better day." 

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