12:48 am
24 Mar 2019

Kiwi Coll Dedicates Canary Wharf Classic Title To Christchurch

16 Mar 2019

After claiming the biggest PSA World Tour title of his career at the Citigold Wealth Management Canary Wharf Classic in London, New Zealand's Paul Coll dedicated his historic victory to Christchurch, the city in his homeland which suffered the horrific shooting tragedy hours earlier.

The world No.7 Paul Coll became the first New Zealander to win the trophy after overcoming Egypt's Tarek Momen by a 3/0 scoreline in the climax of the PSA World Tour Gold event at East Wintergarden in London's Canary Wharf.

Both players were appearing in their second successive PSA Tour finals, with Coll falling to Peru's Diego Elias in the Troilus Canada Cup last week, while Momen went down to world No.1 Ali Farag in the title decider at the PSA World Championships in Chicago a fortnight ago.

A best-of-three games format was used up to and including the quarter-finals in Canary Wharf, with scoring reverting to best of five for the semis and final - and Coll hadn't dropped a game all tournament. Momen, meanwhile, was looking to match wife Raneem El Welily after she won the CIB Black Ball Open title in Cairo just hours earlier.

The 26-year-old Kiwi was in sublime form in the final as he attacked with accuracy into the front of the court and hit a flawless length game to edge the first two games. The third game was all Coll though as Momen struggled with his movement, and the man from Greymouth closed out an 11-8, 12-10, 11-3 victory in 64 minutes to capture the 13th - and biggest - PSA Tour title of his career.

The win sees Coll earn his first PSA Tour event since December 2016, when he beat Momen in the final of the Channel VAS Championship at St George's Hill - also in England.

"It is such a prestigious tournament, there are such phenomenal names on the trophy and to be a part of that is something special," said Coll afterwards.

"I have played this tournament three times, and I feel like I have played well every year. I love coming here, it is such a well organised event. The atmosphere is amazing, it is packed out every round and I love that.

"I have been trying to make some improvements for a while now, and I really felt them come into my game in the World Championships. I felt quite strong on court. In Toronto, I just lost out in the final and that really hurt me. I was confident in my squash and as long as I could get my head right this week, I was confident. I am really happy with the squash, and also [happy] to stay strong mentally for the entire event."

Coll also had a message for people affected by the tragic events in Christchurch and dedicated his win to them.

"To everyone back home in Christchurch, stay strong," said the country's No.1. "It is a horrible thing that has happened to New Zealand and that was for you, and for everyone in Christchurch tonight. Stay strong guys."

Coll takes home $17,500 in prize money and his next tournament will be the DPD Open in Eindhoven, which takes place between April 9-14, 2019.