Coll off to Commonwealth Games

By Viv Logie

Former Coaster Paul Coll’s rapid rise in the squash world continued today when he was named in the New Zealand squash team to compete at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
Coll, 22, now based in Christchurch, was named in the eight-strong team this morning.
Coll turned professional in January 2011 and won his first professional tournament two years later, in January 2013, when he took out the Australian open title. He won his second professional event in September. This year he returned to the Australian Open and won it for a second time.
At the beginning of this year Coll based himself in Holland in an attempt to improve his squash and get more court time.
Currently he is competing in an event in Perth, Western Australia, and will head back to New Zealand in a couple of weeks to compete in the Cousins Shield in Christchurch, before returning to Greymouth.
His parents, Julie and Mike Coll, both stalwarts of the Greymouth Squash Club, are rapt with their son’s success. Mrs Coll said Paul had had a squash racquet in his hand since he was four.
“He started playing squash properly when he was about six.”
He has also been a member of the New Zealand men’s squash team that has competed in two team world championships, the first in Germany and next in France. He reached a career-high world ranking of world No 86 in March, and is now ranked 87.
The New Zealand Commonwealth Games team will be led by women’s world No 4, Joelle King.
King was the star of the 2010 campaign in Delhi, claiming a gold medal in the women’s doubles with Jaclyn Hawkes and silver in the mixed doubles with Martin Knight. She also finished fifth in the singles.
Coll will partner Bay of Plenty’s Amanda Landers-Murphy, ranked No 43 in the world, in the mixed doubles. The other new face in the team is 21-year-old Aucklander Lance Beddoes, who will partner Coll in the men’s doubles.
New Zealand squash team (world ranking in brackets): Joelle King (4), Megan Craig (42), Amanda Landers-Murphy (43), Kylie Lindsay (55), Campbell Grayson (42), Martin Knight (48), Paul Coll (87) , Lance Beddoes (171).