Guernsey Press

This week in 1989: Martine wins world squash championship

Guernsey squash player Martine Le Moignan became the women’s world champion 35 years ago this week.

Squash star Martine Le Moignan in 1988. (33053611)

The world number three was the toast of the island and British squash as she achieved her ambition, defeating New Zealand’s Susan Devoy, at Warmond in the Netherlands, 4-9, 9-5, 10-8, 10-8.

The 26-year-old daughter of Vazon residents Alan and Hazel Le Moignan became the first British player ever to win a world squash title.

‘I just don’t know what to say. It’s so incredible,’ said Hazel. ‘The feelings we’ve got are indescribable.’

The Le Moignans had hoped to be in Warmond for the championships but Alan was unwell and they were forced to remain at home. ‘This is the ideal tonic for him,’ said Hazel.

‘Martine’s finest moment is one of Guernsey sport’s best performances,’ said the Evening Press. ‘This is the first time the island has produced a fully-fledged world champion.’

After her victory, Martine paid tribute to her younger sister, Joanne, fellow British international Alison Cumings, and exiled Channel Islander and coach Gavin Dupre.

‘Having Joanne here has been great. She has certainly helped me relax,’ said Martine.

Dupre’s surprise arrival in Warmond for the final had also given Martine a major confidence boost. ‘When I suddenly saw him there, it really lifted me,’ she said.

Evening Press sports reporter Rob Batiste thought Martine’s world title was no more than she deserved.

‘For sheer consistency in tournament play around the world, there has been no one to match her and island colleague Lisa Opie for a full decade,’ he wrote.

‘Martine is a hugely talented player, capable of sheer brilliance and has shots other women players could only dream of.’