GOLDEN GAMES

PILLEY RE­CALLS GOLD MEDAL

The Daily Examiner - - FRONT PAGE - ADAM HOURI­GAN adam.houri­gan@dai­lyex­am­iner.com.au

There may be Com­mon­wealth gold round his neck, but for Cameron Pilley, whether he plays in an­other is the “mil­lion dol­lar ques­tion” over his head.

“It’s all been a bit of a whirl­wind to be hon­est,” Pilley said.

“I’m 35 ... and I’m tak­ing it sea­son by sea­son on the world tour. I think if I move into coach­ing, and had the de­sire I’d give my­self a solid 12 months to pre­pare to put my­self in con­tention.”

Pilley said he was still on a high from win­ning the gold in the mixed dou­bles, and said each of his Games wins had been a dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence.

“The first one in Delhi, it hit home for me when I was stand­ing on the podium watch­ing the Aus­tralian flag,” he said.

“The last one in Glas­gow be­cause win­ning with David Palmer was re­ally spe­cial.

“This time, it was all the friends and fam­ily that came up and watched, and to do it for the Aussie crowd. It’s once in a blue moon we play in front of that sort of crowd at home, and we re­ally wanted to do it for them and give them the at­mos­phere.”

Pilley said he was heart­ened by the pub­lic’s re­ac­tion to the sport, and said the big­gest com­pli­ment was from other ath­letes in the vil­lage and the re­spect they held for the squash play­ers.

“There was this dis­be­lief from a lot of them that we’re not in the Olympics, and that’s a big com­pli­ment to squash,” he said.

The vil­lage, Pilley said, was one of the best he’d ex­pe­ri­enced at a Games, with four or five dif­fer­ent sec­tions, each with its own swim­ming pool, barista mak­ing cof­fee from 7am–7pm, bar­bers, beauty sa­lons and ev­ery­thing they could want.

And as for the now in­fa­mous clos­ing cer­e­mony, Pilley said he didn’t at­tend, and said on talk­ing to a few of the ath­letes who re­turned early, they told him it was a good de­ci­sion.

“My in-laws are out here, and they were re­ally dis­ap­pointed. They thought it would be a mas­sive party ... with the ath­letes and it just wasn’t,” he said.

Pilley is on his way back to his home in Den­mark, and will play in the Dan­ish league play­offs be­fore putting in a twoweek block of train­ing be­fore the fi­nal tour­na­ment of the sea­son, the Bri­tish Open, and said the ex­pe­ri­ence of past games helped him de­cide what to do.

“Four years ago, there was a bit of a come­down and I went to Hong Kong and China and didn’t win a game,” he said.

“There’s ac­tu­ally a tour­na­ment in Egypt I could play, and I chose not to from that ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Pilley gets a tough first round draw in the Bri­tish Open, fac­ing num­ber three seed Gre­gory Gaultier, but said it wasn’t an in­sur­mount­able task.

“It’s tough when you look at it, but I think you have to go in the pos­i­tive, and hav­ing beaten him be­fore, and I al­most beat him at the Bri­tish two years ago, I know if I can put a good two-week block to­gether it will be a con­test,” he said.

For now, though, Pilley said the gold-medal win was an amaz­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, and had watched the fi­nal point back a few times.

“It’s good to see the ex­pres­sion on my face. I was just so happy to win that match,” he said. “You know what it feels like on the in­side, and to see the ex­pres­sion it shows how much it means to me.”

WE RE­ALLY WANTED TO DO IT FOR THEM AND GIVE THEM THE AT­MOS­PHERE. CAMERON PILLEY

Photo: Chris Hyde

IN AC­TION: Cameron Pilley com­petes against Lewis Wal­ters, of Ja­maica, in the squash men’s sin­gles match on day two of the Com­mon­wealth Games.

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