Canadian Hollie Naughton (ON) captures the silver medal at 2022 Commonwealth Games

History has been made at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England as Canadian Hollie Naughton has captured the silver medal in the women’s singles squash event. This is the first time a Canadian woman has medaled in squash at the Commonwealth Games.

The Gold Medal final featured two young squash superstars in Naughton (World #20) at 27 years old against Georgina Kennedy (World #8) of England at 25 years old. Both women were competing in the biggest final of their careers and did not disappoint the massive crowd watching live at the University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre. The final was a back-and-forth affair with the players trading great winners and unforced errors and, in the end, it was Kennedy that came out on top to win the gold medal by 3-1 (11-7, 11-5, 12-14, 11-5). Naughton will bring home the silver medal. In the Bronze medal match, Sarah-Jane Perry of England defeated Joelle King of New Zealand in a five-set match by 3-2 (6-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-6, 14-12).

Naughton, the reigning, and three-time Canadian Women’s Champion competed at the highest level over the course of the women’s singles event and displayed some of her finest squash leading up to the final. She became the lowest seeded player (5/8) to reach the gold medal final in Games history having defeated Lijana Sultana of Malta (3-0) in the Round of 32, 9/16 seed Aifa Azman of Malaysia (3-0) in the Round of 16, 3/4 seed Joshna Chinappa of India (3-0) in the Quarterfinals and then stunned the number one seed and defending champion Joelle King of New Zealand (3-1) in the semifinals.

“Really proud and happy for Hollie.  She has had such a good week and displayed real composure in what is the biggest event of her career,” said Canadian Squash Coach Graeme Williams. “This composure has allowed her to play her best squash and react in the moment to what has been happening and produce some wonderful performances.  I hope she uses this week as a platform for even better things.”

“Congratulations to Hollie! We are incredibly proud of her very impressive accomplishment; she is the first Canadian woman to win a silver medal for Squash at a Commonwealth Games,” exclaimed Squash Canada President Sandra Thompson. “Watching Hollie progress through the draw has been truly exciting, her accuracy combined with her anticipation and quick reflexes netted her the silver medal. Thank you, Hollie for your dedication and commitment to Squash, you are truly inspiring.”

Squash has been in the Commonwealth Games since 1998 and Canada had previously only ever won two medals – both by former World Champion Jonathon Power (1998 – Silver and 2002 – Gold). Naughton will now add her name to the list of legends in Canadian squash history with her silver medal. “I mean when you put it like that I’m up there with a legend of the game. It’s an amazing, amazing achievement and I’m super proud,” stated Naughton. “I’m hoping this is a huge steppingstone for squash and it can inspire some younger generations to show you that you can do it. I mean it’s been two decades since he did it, so hopefully we don’t have to wait another two decades for another medal. It’s amazing.”

Naughton was asked what impact this silver medal will have on inspiring a new generation of female squash players in Canada. “I’m hoping that I’ll inspire some of the next generation to show that you can do it, it’s possible, you just have to dedicate yourself and show that determination and grit. I mean what an unbelievable place to be and I don’t think that anything else stacks up quite like it and I hope that the next generation can see that it is a phenomenal thing to do, and nothing really compares.”

Canadian results in women’s and men’s singles:

  • Hollie Naughton (ON): Silver Medal
  • Nicole Bunyan (BC):
    • Round of 32: win vs Chanithma Sinaly (Sri Lanka) by 3-0
    • Round of 16: loss vs Georgina Kennedy (England) by 3-0
  • Nick Sachvie (ON):
    • Round of 64: win vs Kundanji Kalengo (Zambia) by 3-1
    • Round of 32: win vs Lwamba Chileshe (New Zealand) by 3-2
    • Round of 16: loss vs Eain Yow (Malaysia) by 3-0
  • David Baillargeon (QC):
    • Round of 64: win vs Chayse Mc Quan (Trinidad and Tobago) by 3-0
    • Round of 32: win vs Peter Creed (Wales) by 3-1
    • Round of 16: loss vs Saurav Ghosal (India) by 3-0

Up next for the Canadian Squash team is Mixed Doubles, Men’s Doubles and Women’s Doubles. The pairings are as follows:

  • Mixed Doubles: Nicole Bunyan/David Baillargeon and Hollie Naughton/Nick Sachvie
  • Men’s Doubles: David Baillargeon/Nick Sachvie
  • Women’s Doubles: Hollie Naughton/Nicole Bunyan

Follow the Squash event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games – Click Here

Hollie Naughton was featured on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning program with Ismaila Alfa on Thursday August 4, 2022 – Listen Here

Photo Credit: Yan Huckendubler, Commonwealth Sport Canada