Canadians set sights on podium performances in the Gold Coast, April 4
OTTAWA, Jan. 30, 2018 /CNW/ - Canada's dynamic duo are set to strike for match point on the courts of Australia's Gold Coast for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, starting April 4, 2018.
Samantha Cornett and Nikkole Todd will represent the red and white in the women's softball doubles and women's singles events at the Games. The duo earned the nod on the basis of their 5th place finish at the 2017 World Squash Federation World Doubles Championships in Manchester, England.
"This fiercely competitive duo has represented Canada in major Games twice before and have done so with a 'rise to the occasion' level of performance that has surprised everyone but themselves," said Dan Wolfenden, Executive Director, Squash Canada. "Their Commonwealth Games appearance represents another benchmark in not only their growth but in our collective development of high performance squash in Canada. We are proud to put them forward and are sure they will represent the red and white with pride, passion and performance."
Samantha 'Sam' Cornett (Deep River, ON) will represent Canada at the Commonwealth Games for the second time in her career, last competing in the women's singles and mixed doubles event at the 2014 Games in Glasgow, Scotland. The 26-year-old has found podium success in the doubles event once before as she and Todd took home the silver at the 2015 Pan Am Games. Cornett is Canada's highest ranked player on the Professional Squash Association's (PSA) world tour at #24.
Nikkole 'Nikki' Todd (Regina, SK) makes up the other half of the dynamic duo that is Cornett & Todd. This will be her first Commonwealth Games appearance, but she has represented Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games and the 2014 and 2016 Women's World Team Championships. The 27-year-old made a number of quarter-finals and semi-finals appearances in in recent PSA events and currently holds a #53 PSA world tour ranking.
Both athletes have made steady progress over the past 16 months with a focus on delivering consistent performances on the singles court on the professional tour last season. Cornett, the year after coming back from injury captured a couple PSA world tour tournament titles last season, while Todd's 2017-18 season has kicked off in high gear most recently capturing her first PSA world tour tournament title, and being named PSA's Female Athlete of the Month in December.
"This will be my third major Games representing Canada, the pride I feel each time I have the opportunity to wear our country's colours is immeasurable," said Cornett. "The excitement I felt during my first Commonwealth Games appearance is doubled this time because I'm doing this with Nikki. We have worked hard to develop our game and how we play as a doubles pair, we complement each other on the court well and the connection we've built will give us a chance to compete against the best."
The duo will be joined by Squash Canada's Women's National Coach Graeme Williams, who like Todd will be making his first Commonwealth Games appearance. Williams coached Sam and Nikki to their silver medal performance when the duo represented Canada at the 2015 Pan Am Games.
Squash was featured in the Commonwealth Games for the first time in 1998. It was played at a state-of-the-art new centre, at Bukit Talil in Malaysia, featuring moving court walls to enable doubles to be played on full size courts. The tournament includes Men's and Women's Singles, Men's and Women's Doubles, and Mixed Doubles events. Since its introduction to the sports program, Canada has two squash medals in the history of the Commonwealth Games. Canada's only world #1 Jonathan Power won both medals for Canada - gold at the 2002 Games in Manchester, England and silver at the 1998 Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
"Congratulations to the Squash Canada athletes who are nominated to represent Canada at the upcoming Commonwealth Games," said Claire Carver-Dias, 2018 Chef de Mission for Team Canada. "I am so excited to welcome them on the team and look forward to cheering them on in the Gold Coast."
The entire Canadian Team will be officially announced by Commonwealth Games Canada in March 2018.
The 2018 Games will take place April 4-15, 2018 in Gold Coast, Australia, with 70 participating countries and over 4000 athletes taking part.
ABOUT COMMONWEALTH GAMES CANADA
Commonwealth Games Canada (CGC) is the international franchise holder for the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth movement in Canada, and an active, contributing member of the Canadian sport community. The mission of CGC is to strengthen sport within Canada and throughout the Commonwealth by participating in the Commonwealth Games and by using sport as a development tool. Visit www.commonwealthgames.ca for information.
ABOUT SQUASH CANADA
Founded in 1915, Squash Canada is a non-profit, national sport governing body responsible for the development of athletes, coaches and officials and sets the standards for Canadian squash. Squash Canada is a proud member of the Pan-American and World Squash Federations and participates in the Pan-American Championships, Commonwealth & Pan-Am Games as well as World Championships at the junior and senior level. Each year Squash Canada hosts nine national championships across the country and works with its provincial and territorial partners to promote the growth and development of squash across the country. For more information, visit www.squash.ca. Join the conversation, get social with squash – follow Squash Canada on Facebook and Twitter.
Our thanks to Cision for sponsoring this announcement
SOURCE Commonwealth Games Association of Canada
For further information: For more information about Squash Canada: Britany Gordon, Programs Manager, Squash Canada, (613) 228-7724 x202, [email protected]; For additional information on the Gold Coast 2018 Canadian Team or CGC: Sylvie Bigras, Communications Chief, Team Canada - Gold Coast 2018, 613 298 1625, [email protected]