Liz Cann capped her first Commonwealth Games for England with her first medal when she exacted sweet revenge on Scotland’s Susan Egelstaff in a ‘battle of Britain’ bronze play-off match in Delhi today.
The former Jersey player has competed at three Commonwealth Games before Delhi but had never finished higher than fourth in 2006 when Egelstaff beat her to bronze.
After switching to England, the 31-year-old has won four national titles and today added the Commonwealth crown with a gritty victory against the Scottish favourite.
After firing her winning shot beyond the reach of her Scottish opponent, Cann sank to her haunches and pumped her fist with a huge smile on her face before rushing off court to embrace team manager Andy wood.
“I’m so pleased to win this time,” said Cann who took two close games, 21-18, 21-16. “It was exactly the same as in 2006 when I lost the play-offs for bronze, but I think I was more relaxed than four years ago.”
It may have 2-0, but it was a hard battle for the Surrey-born player.
Having won a close first with some determined attacking play, Cann was temporarily forced onto the back foot as Egelstaff made her bid to level the match, pulling ahead by the odd point as Cann was unable to get on level terms.
But three swift points brought Cann back into control and once she’d edged ahead there was no stopping her. Afterwards, she was almost lost for words.
“I just can’t describe how I feel,” she said after adding the singles bronze to the team bronze she won on Friday. “I’ve improved as the tournament’s gone on. It’s been such a long tournament and I kept thinking, ‘Am I going to get a medal?’, so I’m just so happy.”
They say fourth is the hardest place to finish, as Cann knows all too well from Melbourne.
So she’ll have a few sympathic words for her team-mates, Gabby White and Jenny Wallwork, who were somewhat less happy to finish out of the medals in the women’s doubles after losing their bronze medal match to the Australians, Kate Wilson-Smith and He Tian Tang, in three games.
“We are devastated,” said Wallwork. “Unfortunately, we couldn't play as well as we wanted to, and we couldn't play to our best. We were tired and slow.”
The English pairs’ cause wasn’t helped when Wallwork accidentally hit White’s hand and the injury hampered her attacking play. Not that White was looking for an excuse.
“I am gutted we couldn't bring home a medal,” said the 20-year-old from Yorkshire. “We didn't play well today. I am an emotional wreck.”