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Meakins, Chin take squash titles

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Meakins, Chin take squash titles

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Karen Meakins and Richard Chin stayed true to their number one rankings, winning the women and men’s titles, respectively at the Barbados Squash Open on Saturday night.
Playing at the Barbados Squash Club, Meakins captured her 11th title by easily defeating 16-year-old Gylla Mackenzie in straight sets 11-4, 11-1, 11-1.
Chin, of Guyana, had a much tougher task against Trinidadian Colin Ramasra in the men’s ‘A’ final, before eventually coming away with the 11-6, 3-11,11-6, 12-10 victory.
In a rematch of the women’s final at the National Championships which were held eight weeks ago, the result was the same as Meakins used her experience and height to overwhelm her younger opponent.
Despite the lopsided score, Mackenzie played quite well during the contest. However on several occasions, her well struck shots which would have been winners against most opponents, were returned with interest by the tall, elegant Meakins who was oftentimes able to turn defence into attack even while under pressure.
Alex Jordan overcame the number two seed and former national and Caribbean junior champion Nadia McCarthy in four games 11-2, 10-12, 11-2, 11-9 to finish third, while 11-year-old Meagan Best, the local Under-13 champion finished fourth.
The men’s A final proved to be an epic encounter and the best match of the tournament with Chin, a three-time Open champion, facing the much younger Ramasra.
The first game set the tone for the match, as Ramasra attacked from the start with powerful low straight drives and volleys, while Chin used the full height of the front wall to good effect to keep the ball deep in the back corners, deploying his straight drops and volleys only when the opportunity presented itself.
After Chin eventually pulled away at 7-6 to capture the first set, Ramasra reeled off seven straight points at the beginning of the second set to motor from 2-1 to 9-1, before going on to comfortably take the set over a tiring Chin.
Using all of his experience, the Guyanese slowed the pace down completely in the critical third set, and with the score tied at 3-3, he rattled off three consecutive points before eventually building a 9-6 lead on his way to taking the set.
With Ramasra needing to win the next game to force a fifth and decisive set, he looked intent on doing just that as he rushed out to a 8-5 lead.
Chin though fought back, patiently keeping the rallies going with great defence to claim the next five points (10-5) on his way to capturing his fourth title.
Alex Arjoon from Guyana copped third with a 11-7,11-4, 11-8 dismissal of Gavin Cumberbatch and Jason-Ray Khalil finished fifth. (RB/PR)