Commonwealth GamesSport

Kennedy sets up gold medal shot after semi-final drama

By Max Hall

Bromley squash ace Gina Kennedy showed immense mental toughness to overcome a crucial video review decision and claim the winning point in her Commonwealth Games semi-final.

With the contest tied on match point and Kennedy on the verge of a famous upset she was ruled to have failed to play a floor shot.

The officials opted for a video review which showed everyone in the arena the rising star of English squash had somehow made the return but to the consternation of a packed crowd at Birmingham University, the verdict was “inconclusive” and the original call stood.

At that point, with England teammate and rival Sarah-Jane Perry having battled back from four points down to tie on match point and keep her alive at two sets to one down, Kennedy could have crumbled, but pulled out the stops to immediately claim the two points which secured at least a silver medal.

The significance of that reaction was not lost on the former Langley Park School pupil, who plays at the Parklangley Rackets Club.

“If it went to the fifth, I really do think it would have swung in her direction,” Kennedy said after her 11-6, 8-11, 11-5, 14-12 victory over her higher-seeded opponent.

“I think her mental strength is her biggest asset,” Kennedy said of her England rival.

With top seed Joelle King, of New Zealand, surprisingly exiting the competition this afternoon – at the hands of Canada’s Hollie Naughton, the way is clear for Kennedy to claim gold tomorrow.

For now, though, she is simply trying to process having won at least a silver.

“I’ve been envisaging what it would be like to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games,” she told the South London Press.

“It feels amazing. It hasn’t sunk in yet. “To beat a player like SJ on a stage like this just means everything. I’ve been working so hard… I think amazement is the word.”

Kennedy will face Naughton for the gold medal at 6pm tomorrow.

Pictured top: Gina Kennedy has battled through to tomorrow’s final (Picture: Team England)

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