Irving joins Hall of Fame,
Martin elevated to Legend status
of Australia's greatest ever sporting teams was reunited on
Saturday when Liz Irving was inducted into the Squash
Australia Hall of Fame.
Irving was part of the Australian women's team who won four
consecutive World Championships from 1992 to 1998, alongside
Michelle Martin and Sarah Fitz-Gerald.
They were joined in the team by Robyn Lambourne in
1992 and Carol Owens in 1994 and 1998.
Martin and Fitz-Gerald have previously been inducted into
the Hall of Fame and now Irving has joined her former
Irving, born in Brisbane on February 7, 1965, won nine
titles on the women’s professional tour during a
distinguished career, claiming her first tournament at the
Irish Open in 1991 and her last in Malaysia in 1997.
That figure would have been far greater if she hadn’t had
the "misfortune" of playing in the same era as Martin, whom
she always seemed to come up against in major finals.
Irving finished runner-up to Martin at the 1993 World Open,
the 1994 and 1995 British Opens and the Australian Opens of
1991, 1993 and 1994.
But when she and Martin played alongside each other in the
Australian team they were almost unbeatable.
"We were just a really good group of players coming
through," Irving said.
"We pushed each other along. We had tremendous help, the
Institute of Sport has just started up and Heather McKay
had a great influence on all of us, as did Geoff Hunt.
"When you're around such great people with a well organised
training set up and you're all pushing each other along --
something was right.
"I think out of five or six of us that were all coming
through, we all got to number one or two in the world."
Irving also won the mixed doubles titles at the inaugural
World Doubles Squash Championships in 1997 with Dan
retiring as a player, Irving has settled in Amsterdam, where
she coaches a number of top international women players,
including world number one Nicol David of Malaysia.
Martin was also elevated to "Legend" status on Saturday,
joining Heather McKay, Geoff Hunt and Ken Hiscoe as
recipients of the highest honour in Australian squash.
Martin was one of the greatest players ever to have graced a
She won three consecutive World Opens from 1993-95, and
clinched six straight British Opens titles from 1993-98
along with seven Australian Opens – in 1991, '93, '94, '95,
'96, '98 and '99.
Martin also competed for Australia at the 1998 Kuala Lumpur
Commonwealth Games, winning two gold medals in the women’s
singles and the mixed doubles.
Kasey Brown was named Senior Athlete of the Year
while Tamika Saxby of Coffs Harbour won her second
consecutive Junior Athlete of the Year award.
Brown had a spectacular 2010, entering the top 10 for the
first time in a year that also included a Commonwealth Games
gold medal, a world teams championship win and her 10th
Brown was Australia’s most decorated squash player in Delhi,
winning gold in the mixed doubles with Cameron Pilley,
bronze in women’s singles and bronze in women’s doubles with
the Commonwealth Games, she joined Rachael Grinham,
Fitz-Gerald and Urquhart to win the Women’s World Teams
Championship in New Zealand in December.
has had yet another outstanding year both in Australia and
overseas, winning some prestigious junior tournaments and
beginning to make her mark in the senior ranks.
During the year she improved her world senior ranking from
119 to 94, won the Scottish Junior Open, finished fourth in
the British Junior Open, finished 10th in the World Junior
Championships, and won the Girls 17 Years age group at the
Australian Junior Championships.