Squash star Lucy Turmel edged out of Commonwealth Games after nail-biting contest

·3-min read
Commonwealth Games - Squash - Women's Singles - Quarter-Final - University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash centre, Birmingham, Britain - August 1, 2022 England's Lucy Turmel in action with New Zealand's Joelle King REUTERS/Phil Noble
Commonwealth Games - Squash - Women's Singles - Quarter-Final - University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash centre, Birmingham, Britain - August 1, 2022 England's Lucy Turmel in action with New Zealand's Joelle King REUTERS/Phil Noble

By Paul Eddison in Birmingham

Lucy Turmel might have seen her run in the Commonwealth squash singles ended, but she certainly earned the respect of defending champion Joelle King after an epic battle.

This summer, Team England, supported by funding raised by National Lottery players, comprises of over 400 athletes, all vying for medal success.

The 22-year-old from Ipswich came into her quarter-final against New Zealander King as a heavy underdog but troubled her more experienced opponent throughout in a 9-11 18-16 11-9 14-12 defeat.

The second game showed exactly what Turmel is made of, fighting back from 10-2 and saving 11 game points in all before King prevailed, with the reigning champion impressed by the mindset of the debutant.

“I respect the way she comes out and thinks she can beat anybody,” said King, who is based in Bristol and works with English former world champion Laura Massaro.

“She did not look me at all during the entire match, she just wanted to win the last point, as did I.”

In many ways, it was a case of what might have been for Turmel in evenly matched battle.

The gulf in experience, and an 11-year age gap, probably made the difference in the end, but Turmel has vowed to come back stronger from the experience.

She said: “It obviously stings a bit, one point in it there at the end.

“I don’t ever give up, that’s something that I pride myself on. I spoke to my coach before the match and he said that if Joelle is going to win, she’s going to win, you’re not going to lose. So that was my thought process when I was 10-2 down.

“It was some of my best squash. The biggest thing for me is that I found out a bit about myself. I’m a fighter, I knew that but that was a different level.

“I’m 22 years old, I’m going to have maybe four more Commonwealth Games. This is the first one and although I came here to win, I’m at my first one at 22 so I must take that on board.”

It was also the biggest stage on which Turmel has featured, playing in the spectacular glass court at the University of Birmingham in front of a packed crowd.

And with the game also being shown on the BBC, she was keen to make the most of a platform which is usually denied to squash.

She added: “I’m quite happy overall. I’m on there to win and that didn’t happen obviously, but I feel like it was a good match for everyone watching. It was on the BBC, it’s huge for squash and I think that me and Joelle put on a good show for everyone so that’s the most important.

“My family are all here watching today, it was a huge moment for me. When I came off the court, the first person I saw was my brother, I gave him a hug and that’s it for me, this is going to be a special couple of weeks.”

National Lottery players raise more than £30million a week for good causes including vital funding into sport – from grassroots to elite. Find out how your numbers make amazing happen at: www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtag: #TNLAthletes.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting