Commonwealth Games: Pollard saved by Nicol's gesture

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The Independent Online
PETER NICOL, Scotland's gold medal prospect, yesterday explained his reasons for giving up a first-round bye to allow Guyana's Regan Pollard a place in squash history.

This Commonwealth Games is the sport's debut and, as world No 1 and top seed, Nicol will play the first match, despite already being awarded a place in the second round.

With Pollard arriving to find he had not been fully accredited and was therefore out of the competition Nicol, the only man with a bye, agreed to waive that privilege.

He said: "I thought that was a bit unfair that he should be denied the chance to compete in the Games so, despite knowing nothing about him, not even his name at the time, I agreed.

"If he turns out to be a great undiscovered talent then good luck to him, you have to be prepared to meet anyone in the draw and he should always have been part of that draw."

The Namibian sprinter, Frankie Fredericks, may be reconsidering his decision to boycott the Games, the coach of his main rival said.

"I still think there may be rethinking on the part of Frankie. I believe he may show up," said the Trinidad athletics manager, Ken Doldron.

Fredericks, the Olympic silver medallist in both the 100 and 200 metres, withdrew from the Games after the Namibian Prime Minister, Hage Geingob, said the country's new world boxing champion, Harry Simon, was the country's greatest athlete as Fredericks had never won Olympic gold.

The Commonwealth Games' general assembly has decided to limit the number of participating sports in the future to 14 as they struggle to compete against an ever growing international sports calendar.

Other changes decided at the assembly include having a minimum of two and a maximum of four team sports.

n A group calling itself the The Press Institute for Non-Teetotallers (PINT) said yesterday it would stage a protest against the high beer prices at the Mint hotel which houses the media centre. The hotel swiftly countered by introducing a two-for-one happy hour.