England will make squash history at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi today, becoming the first nation ever to sweep all three men’s singles squash medals.
With England’s number one and two seeds, Nick Matthew and James Willstrop playing their final at 20.15 this evening, the clean sweep was confirmed earlier in the afternoon when Peter Barker bounced back from his semi-final defeat to Matthew yesterday.
Barker romped to a convincing victory in the bronze medal match against Malaysian Mohamad Iskandar, winning 11-5, 11-4, 11-2.
For the number three seed it was some compensation for missing out on the final.
“I played really well today so I am happy to come away with a bronze medal,” he said. “Usually when you lose a match you pack up your bags and go home so it was tough to pick myself up and focus on today’s match.
“It was still a massive match and not many people get to win a Commonwealth Games medal. It is one o fht ehighlights of my career so far.
“To get one, two and three in this sport really shows our domination and frustrates all the other players. Hopefullly we can get some good coverage back home,” he added.
Barker reserved his final words for his London-based opponent, a personal friend and his training partner back in England.
"It was an incredible individual performance from him here. Unfortunately he has nothing to show for it.”
It won’t be a completely perfect day for English squash, however.
There was disappointment for Alison Waters, who was forced to pull out of her bronze medal match with the left achilles injury she sustained in her semi-final against Jenny Duncalf and will now miss the rest of the Games.
“I tweaked it in the second game yesterday,” confirmed Waters. “I’ve had a scan on it today and I’ve got a slight tear. If you play on it you make the tear worse and obviously you’re out for longer.
“I have to wear a boot to take the pressure off it, so I’ll be sitting down watching doubles mostly anyway.”
Waters’ withdrawal meant Australia’s Kasey Brown was awarded the bronze by default.
“I’d have felt confident going into it but Kasey’s playing really well so it’d have been tough.
“I’m gutted about the doubles too. We have a good chance for medals in both so I’m gutted for the guys too.
"I’ll be the number one supporter now. I’ll be water girl or whatever I have to do.”
There was some cheer for Waters though, as she learned the news she’s moved up the world squash rankings to number three.
Duncalf is competing in the women’s singles final at 19.00.