Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Squash ace Paul Coll delivers singles gold medal in nailbiter

Birmingham Commonwealth Games: Squash ace Paul Coll delivers singles gold medal in nailbiter

Kiwi squash ace Paul Coll has delivered a Commonwealth Games singles gold medal, improving on the silver he won at Gold Coast four years ago.

Since then, Coll has won back-to-back British Open crowns and risen to No.1 in the world, establishing himself as the best men's exponent in the world, outside Egypt.

But he was taken the distance by Welshman Joel Makin, finally prevailing 3-11 11-9 8-11 11-8 11-6 in a nailbiting final at Birmingham University.

The result came hours after teammate Joelle King saw her gold-medal defence end in tatters, unable to salvage bronze against England's Sarah-Jane Perry in the women's playoff.

Paul Coll in action at Birmingham
Paul Coll in action at Birmingham. Photo credit: Getty

Coll, 30, reached the final with a semi-final win over Indian Saurav Ghosal, but had dropped a game against Makin's teammate, Emyr Evans, in the round of 16.

The gold-medal contest began badly, as he barely contested the opening game and had to battle from behind to win the second. World No.7 Makin took out the third, as Coll threw his racket in disgust, needing to sweep the final two for victory.

He charged out to an 8-3 lead in the fourth and held on to send the match into a fifth, where he needed three match balls to finish Makin off for good - the first Kiwi male to win singles gold.

After struggling to overcome England's Lucy Turmel in the quarter-finals and falling to Canadian Hollie Naughton in the semis, King battled to the end against Perry, whom she beat for gold at Gold Coast.

King won the opening two games and led 6-2 in the third, before conceding seven straight points to drop the game.

Tied at 2-2, the final game went 26 minutes, with King holding match ball at 10-9, before succumbing 11-6 11-9 8-11 6-11 12-14. She must now regroup to team with Coll for their defence of the mixed doubles crown.