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England’s Gina Kennedy won squash gold on her Commonwealth Games debut to cap her meteoric rise in the sport.
The 25-year-old beat Canada’s Hollie Naughton 11-7 11-5 12-14 11-5 to become the first Englishwoman to win a Commonwealth singles squash title.
Kennedy, a Harvard graduate, rose from a world ranking of 185 to the top 10 in less than a year and reached her highest ranking of eighth in July.
Asked if she can put her victory into words, she said: “I literally can’t.”
He added: “I dreamed about this and now it’s happened, I have no idea what to do with myself.”
Kennedy, who trains at the same Bromley club as tennis star Emma Raducanu, previously said winning Commonwealth gold would be the “ultimate achievement”.
She will be joined on the podium by England team-mate Sarah-Jane Perry, who won bronze in a stunning 3-2 comeback against New Zealand’s Joelle King.
Having dropped the first two games and with King looking to have one hand on the medal, world number five Perry – who is from Birmingham – won 6-11 9-11 11-8 11-6 14-12 .
“I’ve had some good comebacks in my time but this is up there with the best of them,” said the 32-year-old, who was beaten by King in the Commonwealth final four years ago.
England team-mate James Willstrop – the defending men’s singles champion – was unable to follow in Perry’s footsteps, however, as he was beaten 3-0 by India’s Saurav Ghosal in the men’s bronze medal match.
Ghosal, who was previously coached by Willstrop’s late father Malcolm, won 11-6 11-1 11-4 for India’s first singles squash medal at a Commonwealth Games.