BACK in the days when Lithgow product David Palmer was honing his skills on local squash courts, winning a Commonwealth Games gold medal was only a dream.
But on Sunday afternoon at the Gold Coast’s Oxenford Studios, he won the third Games gold medal of his career and impressive ninth overall medal.
His parents Sylvia and John Palmer, who live in Lithgow, were on the Gold Coast to see the action.
Palmer and partner Zac Alexander defeated English duo Daryl Selby and Adrian Walker 11-9, 3-11, 11-6 in 57 minutes to be crowned Games champions.
Making it an even more remarkable achievement, the 41-year-old Lithgow native came out of retirement to do so. He left the professional squash circuit seven years ago.
“I said from day one a year and a half ago that I still felt that deep down, if things went my way, I would have a chance,” Palmer said.
“My goal was to win a medal and to try to help Zac win his first one.”
Palmer was partnered with 29-year-old Alexander as he made his sixth Commonwealth Games appearance for Australia, the duo being the fifth seed for the men’s doubles.
But the pair defied that ranking as they lost just two games on their way to glory.
They began by breezing past their Cayman Islands rivals 2-0 in just 16 minutes, then downed the Jamaican team 2-0 to advance to the round of 16.
Once more they prevailed 2-0 – this time against Wales – to set up a quarter-final against New Zealand.
It was their toughest contest thus far, but after 64 minutes Palmer and Alexander emerged 2-1 victors.
That was followed by a 2-0 semi-final win over Scotland then Sunday’s gold medal performance.
“I think we went under the radar a little bit this week. As fifth seeds coming it, it’s been nice not to have the pressure on us and it’s fantastic to be able to win another medal at my last Games,” Palmer said.
Palmer now boasts three Games gold medals, two silver and four bronze. It is a record which no other Australian squash player can match and one which he is now satisfied with.
He has ruled out the possibility of a seventh Commonwealth Games at Birmingham 2022.
“No, this is it. I think my wife would kill me if I signed up for another one,” he said.