Birmingham Commonwealth Games: New Zealand flag bearer Joelle King devastated after defeat in squash semi-final

New Zealand flag bearer and squash hopeful Joelle King couldn't hide her anguish after falling in the semi-finals at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

After a difficult quarter-final on Tuesday (NZ time), King fell to a 11-7, 3-11, 8-11, 1-11 loss to Canada's Hollie Naughton, and will miss out on the chance to defend the gold medal she won on the Gold Coast four years ago.

Instead, King will face England's Sarah-Jane Perry in the bronze medal match, in a replay of the 2018 final.

Joelle King and Paul Coll.
Joelle King and Paul Coll. Photo credit: Image - Getty Images

Should the 33-year-old triumph, she'd add a third bronze medal to her collection which also contains three gold medals and a silver.

"[I'm] absolutely gutted," King said. "You can't take it away from Hollie, she capitalised on everything that I was not able to do out there.

"I just wasn't good enough today. Yesterday, emotionally and mentally, took a little bit more out of me than I would have liked.

"Physically I felt ok, but when you're not sharp mentally, you're a little bit slower to the ball, you're not seeing the ball quite as well, and not able to hit your targets.

"[I'm] just not good enough."

After the singles, King will be considered in contention for gold in the mixed doubles, partnered with fellow hopeful Paul Coll.

Coll himself has booked a spot in the gold medal match, after defeating India's Saurav Ghosal to reach his second successive Commonwealth Games final after winning silver four years ago.

The 30-year-old meets Wales' Joel Makin in the gold medal match, to be played on Thursday morning (NZ time).

And while emotional over his own chances to win a medal, Coll also took time to praise King for the role she's played in the New Zealand squash team for numerous years.

"I'm gutted for her," Coll said. "It takes nothing away from who Joelle is.

"She's led our team for fricken over 10 years, winning medals left and right. I'm gutted for her, like I said, but it changes nothing [of] how I think of Joelle.

"She's an amazing girl, she'll bounce back. I'm looking forward to playing with her on Thursday in the mixed doubles.

"She's so strong man. I don't think anyone knows how strong she is, and what she puts herself through for New Zealand.

"I've got a lot of respect for Joey."

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