Paul Coll beat Ali Farag to win the British Open for the second year in a row
Gravity-defying dive after lung-busting lunge, they called him ‘Superman’ as he captivated crowds around the globe. Now, history-maker Paul Coll is on top of the world at number one and has his sights set on total domination.
Soon to celebrate his 30th birthday, Coll became the first New Zealander to top the squash world rankings and celebrated winning the tour’s oldest competition, the British Open, for the second year in a row last month.
Next on his hit list is the PSA World Championships in Cairo in June, where he aims to take home the trophy for the first time, before competing for up to three gold medals at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
“Now that I’m world number one I’m trying to focus on events that I haven’t won before, so the Commonwealth Games is right up there. I’ve only got a silver [medal] so to get a gold would be huge for me,” he says.
“I keep seeing a picture of the final I lost four years ago, I’ve been having to look at that for four years and it annoys me, so if I can change that picture this year that’d be great.”
The New Zealander has embraced the ‘Superman’ personality that has endeared him to crowds around the world
Picking squash over rugby and hockey
Born in Greymouth, a town with just over 8,000 people in New Zealand’s South Island, Coll first picked up a squash racquet at the age of seven at his parents’ local club.
He then moved to Christchurch aged 13 for boarding school, before relocating to Auckland.
A talented rugby and hockey player, it was not until the age of 16 that Coll saw the opportunity for a career on the squash court.