OPINION: Even his greatest rival doesn’t begrudge Kiwi squash superstar Paul Coll his double British Open success.
Two-time world champion Ali Farag had just been beaten in three straight games by the West Coast whirlwind in straight games in the 2022 final in Hull.
Swallowing his own disappointment, the Egyptian seemed genuinely pleased for the New Zealand champion. “It’s a testament to how well Paul is playing at the moment – he’s definitely worthy of being a double British Open champion.’’
Paul Coll surges forward to play a shot against Ali Farag on his way to winning the 2022 British Open squash title.
Farag isn’t the first – and nor will he be the last – hardcourt hopeful swept aside by ‘Superman’ (world No 1 nickname on the Professional Squash Association World Tour).
* Paul Coll wins his second consecutive British Squash Open title to stay world No 1
* Kiwi champion Paul Coll through to second British Open squash final but Joelle King out
* ‘I’ve dreamed of this’: Paul Coll climbs to top of world men’s squash rankings
* Paul Coll goes down fighting to Ali Farag at Oracle Netsuite Open final in San Francisco
Coll’s repeat victory in the most prestigious squash event outside the world championships should, finally, make him a household name here.
Add a Commonwealth Games gold medal to his second straight British Open title and the West Coast’s greatest export since the last big gold rush could become New Zealand’s next sportsman of the year.
Supplied/PSA Squash Tour
Paul Coll with the British Open men’s squash championship trophy that he has won for a second time.
Coll’s maiden British Open win last year saw him named a finalist for sportsman of the year at the last Halberg Awards where he faced some of the toughest competition in awards history – Black Caps skipper Kane Williamson, three-time Olympic rowing gold medallist Hamish Bond and IndyCars champion Scott Dixon, all from higher profile codes.
Williamson took the gong, but Coll should take some beating next time.
In the meantime, British Open organisers could do Kiwi sports fans a favour by staging the next final at night-time.
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