Ipswich-born squash player Lucy Turmel selected to represent England at Commonwealth Games in Birmingham
Suffolk-born squash player Lucy Turmel says it is a 'dream come true' to be selected to compete for England at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The 22-year-old, from Ipswich, will take to the court at The University of Birmingham Hockey and Squash Centre between 29 July to 8 August, hoping to achieve a medal in her first games.
The former Debenham High School pupil has enjoyed a successful 2022 so far, most recently competing in the J.P. Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York's Grand Central station and reaching a career-high of 20th in the world rankings.
Despite only reaching the second round of the tournament - she lost to Canadian Hollie Naughton in straight to sets - the 22-year-old said it was a huge moment in her career.
“It was the first time playing at Grand Central station and it was something else," she said speaking from New York.
"The atmosphere and the buzz, it was a bit of a pinch me moment actually. I’ve watched Squash tv for a lot of years and a lot of players playing on that court, so when it was my opportunity to get on there I was absolutely buzzing.
“It’s got to be one of the most iconic venues, in the middle of Grand Central terminal with the hustle and bustle of everyone walking past the court and people stopping to watch the squash."
The 22-year-old started playing when she was just eight years old, and has already won four PSA (Professional Squash Association) titles, after deciding to focus on squash instead of competing in gymnastics at the age of 13.
Despite her parents playing a huge role in the early part of her career, Lucy has not yet had the chance to celebrate with them.
"I was actually on a plane at the airport, about to fly to play for England in the Europeans," Lucy said. "I got the call from our coach, which is just typical of how busy the schedule is at the minute. I wasn’t at home, so I dropped my mum and dad a text to let them know, but when I get home from here we will obviously celebrate properly in person.
“They knew this was a huge goal of mine and it wasn’t easy to get to this point. But I trusted the hard work I put in and I thought that I was in a really good position to be selected but of course you can’t take it for granted until you actually get told. It’s just a dream come true."
With the games set to kick off in July, Lucy is setting her sights on being on the podium.
She added: "The goal is to go and medal. There is no point turning up if you don’t want to be on the podium at the end of the week, so that’s the goal.
"From now until then we have got a couple of months, so will be doing everything possible to be in the best shape ready for July."