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Australia v New Zealand in women's squash final

30 July 2002

New Zealander and world number two Carol Owens has secured her place in the women’s squash final after dropping the first game.

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Owens, who beat England’s Cassie Jackman said of her passage into the final: “I was behind her a lot in the first game and I was really tentative. The occasion is totally different to playing a normal tournament. I’m just happy to have won. It was tough. It was point for point most of the way except in the third game. There was a lot of pressure there. I was trying to tell myself there wasn’t but Cassie’s a tough player and we always have tough matches. The game could have been anyone’s really.”

On her plan going into the final with world number one, Sarah Fitz-Gerald: “Just to stick with her and try not to go for shots too early and think about setting up the rallies. When I was setting up the rallies today, that’s when I was winning. I just want to go into it with a nice clear mind and a game plan. I played really well against Sarah in Qatar so if I can go out and play the same I can let her know it’s not going to be given to her. I’m going to go out and fight all the way.”

Cassie Jackman, former world number one, said of her defeat and bronze medal: “I felt I played alright, but Carol came up with the good rallies. I’m obviously disappointed. I lost my length in the third game which you can’t afford to do against Carol.”

Jackman joined many other athletes who have praised the home crowds when she said: “This is definitely the best atmosphere I’ve ever played in, especially in England. The crowd were just really behind me. They cheered me every point. When I was knocking up and they cheered I was smiling. I was trying not to and to concentrate but it was such a good feeling and that got me off to a really good start.”

Info News Service/jh/ndp

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