Four Bajans in squash final
Four Barbadian players, including all three of the girls, have advanced to the final of the 31st annual Caribbean Junior Squash Championships at the Cascadia Squash Club in St Ann’s, Trinidad and Tobago.
Meagan Best, Amanda Haywood, Gylla Mackenzie and Khamal Cumberbatch have reached the championship match in their respective age groups.
Best, the silver medallist last year in the Under-13 age group, is this year’s top seed and the 11-year-old comfortably reached her second successive final with an easy 3-0 victory over Mia Lake, of Jamaica.
She will play the No. 2 seed Mia Mahfood, of Jamaica, for the gold medal.
Last year’s Under-13 champion Haywood, who is playing in the Under-15 age group for the first time and seeded at No. 2, defeated her semi-final opponent Sarah Conway, of Jamaica, 3-0, while in the Under-17 age group, Gylla Mackenzie, who is also seeded at No. 2 in the Under-17s, defeated Guyana’s Taylor Fernandes in her semi-final.
Haywood will face the top seeded Jamaican Alyssa Mullins in the Under-15 final, while Mackenzie will meet the top seed Akiela Wiltshire from Guyana.
In the boys’ Under-13 age group, 11-year-old Khamal Cumberbatch, who is the top seed, defeated Jasun Sairsingh, of the Cayman Islands, to advance to his second successive final.
Cumberbatch took home the silver medal last year in this age group and will be hoping to claim gold in this year’s final.
In the boys’ Under-15 age group, both Barbadians players lost their respective quarter-finals to higher seeded opponents.
Rithew Saywack lost 0-3 to the top seed Benjamin Mekdici, of Guyana, while Shemane Griffith lost 1-3 to the No. 3/4 seed Jonathan Walker, of Jamaica. However, both Barbadians returned in the afternoon to win their Classic Plate matches and will now face each other for fifth place.
Barbados’ sole Under-17 boys’ representative Benjamin Griffith lost 0-3 to Trinidad and Tobago’s James Lancer and all three Under-19 entries also lost their quarter-final encounters against higher ranked opponents.
Unseeded Brandon Straker lost 0-3 to the No.3/4 seed Jean Claude Jeffrey, of Guyana; Zaki Williams lost to the top seeded Jamaican Ashante Smith 0-3 and Stewart St John went down 0-3 to the No. 2 seed Mandela Patrick, of Trinidad and Tobago.
Williams defeated St John later in the day 3-1 and will play against Julian Morrison for fifth place. Straker is in the seventh place play-off.
The team competition will start today and run through Sunday and the Barbados team will return home on Monday. (PR/SAT)