James Willstrop ready for defence of Commonwealth Games Men's Singles Gold Medal

July 24 2022

James Willstrop will be representing England at the at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England which start on Thursday.

The 38-year-old Englishman will be looking to make a toughminded defence of the Men’s Singles Gold Medal he won at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

It was third time lucky for James at the Gold Coast four years ago having previously been a runner-up at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi in 2010 and Edinburgh in 2014.

Seeded fourth in Australia, James Willstrop prevailed in straight games over New Zealand’s No.2 seed Paul Coll after both players had endured arduous routes to the final.

James Willstrop had denied home interest in the later stages by beating top Australian Cameron Pilley in an enthralling 95-minute quarter-final battle whilst Coll survived a 106-minute semi-final clash with Welshman Joel Makin less than 24 hours before the final.

In the final, James Willstrop was in imperious form, claiming his first straight games win since the opening round by beating Paul Coll 11-9 11-4 11-6 in just 47 minutes.

"It just clicked for me in the final," admitted the 34-year-old Englishman. "It's stuff you dream of. It's one of the most brilliant performances I've had in my career. It just worked & it clicked. I don't know why, maybe the hours of solo practice I've put in all my life.

"It's an incredible thing & one of my best performances. I love playing the game & four years ago there were some doubts about that. I can't really process it to be honest, being here with a Gold Medal in the singles ...

“Is it my biggest title? I guess it is. I reckon it probably is the best. It's a wonderful occasion - & the atmosphere & everything around it adds to it."

James Willstrop will also be competing in the Commonwealth Games Men’s Doubles in Birmingham with Declan James, with whom he won a Bronze Medal four years ago as well as winning a Gold Medal at the World Doubles Championships in April.