Engerer edges past Kijan Sultana in men’s competition
Lijana Sultana won a thrilling encounter to reach the Last 32 of the women’s singles squash competition on the opening day of the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England.
Niall Engerer prevailed in a Maltese derby against Kijan Sultana to proceed to the second round of the men’s singles.
Fifteen-year-old Lijana Sultana produced the performance of the day for Malta in the squash competition when she came from a set down, to edge past Trinidad and Tobago player Charlotte Knaggs 3-2.
Sultana, making her first appearance in the Commonwealth Games, lost a tight first set 11-9.
But she showed tremendous character to fight back and win the next two sets in impressive fashion with an identical 11-3 scoreline.
Knaggs won the fourth set 11-7 to send the match into a decider.
Here, the match turned out to be a tight affair but it was Sultana who kept hold of her nerves in the end to win the decider 12-10.
Sultana’s reward for her victory on Friday is a last-32 clash against Canada’s Hollie Naughton.
In the last 32 of the women’s singles Lijana is joined by her sister Colette Sultana who was awarded a bye in the first round.
Colette Sultana will now face Jess Turnbull, of Australia.
In the men’s singles, Engerer used all his experience to see off the challenge of his Team Malta team-mate Kijan Sultana 3-1.
Engerer raced into a two-set lead when winning the opening two games 11-7 and 15-13.
Sultana reopened the match when he took the third set 11-9.
In the fourth set, the match was evenly balanced but it was Engerer who took the win in the end when edging through 12-10.
Engerer has a tough second round tie on his hands as he will now take on tournament top seed and world no.2 player Paul Coll, of New Zealand.
In triathlon, Keith Galea and Danica Bonello Spiteri were in action in the sprint race.
Galea completed the 750 metres swim leg in ten minutes and 37 seconds before cycling through the 20km leg in 30.19 minutes.
He finished off with a 5km run that he completed in 19.05 minutes for an overall time of one hour one minute and 40 seconds.
That left Galea in 31st place overall from a field of 44 triathletes.
Britain’s Alex Yee took the gold medal with a combined time of 50 minutes and 34 seconds.
Bonello Spiteri was in action in the afternoon.
She finished the swim in a time of 11 minutes 16 seconds, whilst the bike leg was completed in 33 minutes four seconds before proceeding to the 5km run which she finished in 21 minutes 21 seconds. Bonello Spiteri completed the race in a time of 1:07.21 to finish in 25th place out of 33 triathletes.
In lawn bowls, Peter John Ellul, Troy Lorimer and Shaun Parnis were off to a mixed start in the triples competition.
In fact, they opened the day with a 28-6 defeat to Scotland but then bounced back in style when they had the better of New Zealand 22-12.
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