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Squash heroes

Michelle Martin - Australia   Michelle Martin - Australia
Kuala Lumpur 1998

One of the most dominant female squash players in recent times. Michelle Martin scooped two golds as squash made its debut at the Commonwealth Games in the ladies singles and the mixed doubles.

She had to wait for the retirement of Susan Devoy before she could truly claim to be the best in the world and during the period between 1993 and 1998 she also picked up six British Open titles.

At the end of 1999 Michelle Martin retired from the sport having achieved every goal she had set herself.

David Palmer - Australia   David Palmer - Australia
Kuala Lumpur 1998

World number three David Palmer is no stranger to the Commonwealth Games arena. Partnering Paul Price in the men's doubles the pair made it as far as the quarter-finals of the competition.

Since then the 25 year old has shot up the tree sweeping all before him and he'll certainly be one of the stars to keep an eye out for at Manchester 2002 having won the British Open in 2001.

Sarah Fitz-Gerald - Australia   Sarah Fitz-Gerald - Australia
Kuala Lumpur 1998

Sarah Fitz-Gerald is pretty much a squash legend. For years virtually every major women's final was contested between her and Michelle Martin, including the women's Commonwealth final in Kuala Lumpur. Martin won the gold in that one leaving Fitz-Gerald with the silver.

In early 1999 Fitz-Gerald took a break from the sport to have the first of two knee operations. An early comeback from the first surgery was blamed and further treatment was needed keeping Sarah off the circuit for almost a year.

In autumn 2001 Fitz-Gerald finally managed to reclaim the women's world number one slot after an absence from the position of three years and now she'll be looking to improve on that silver in Manchester.

Peter Nicol - Scotland   Peter Nicol - Scotland
Kuala Lumpur 1998

Peter Nicol came away from Kuala Lumpur with the men's gold and became a national hero in his homeland Scotland. Now, just four years later on, Peter's success has continued, the medals have continued to come, but he faces a very different proposition in Manchester as Nicol switched allegiance to England in March 2001!

His men's final victory over Canadian Jonathon Power in what was described as a "titanic battle" in Kuala Lumpur was undoubtedly one of Nicol's career highlights, but after that he went on to win the world open championships in Egypt a year later.

Leilani Joyce - New Zealand   Leilani Joyce - New Zealand
Kuala Lumpur 1998

The New Zealand number one is another young squash player to keep your eyes on at Manchester 2002. Leilani appeared at the Kuala Lumpur games but failed to make much of an impression, but since 1999 she's climbed through the rankings to world number three in the years since.

A win in the Swiss open coupled with a gold in the world doubles championships (partnering Philippa Beams) have helped shoot Leilani up through the rankings and the Maori has definitely got her sights set on the likes of Sarah Fitz-Gerald in the battle for the gold.

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