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Khamal breaks squash drought

BEA DOTTIN, [email protected]

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Barbadian junior players won three gold medals and one silver on the third day of the Caribbean Junior Squash Championships in Trinidad on Wednesday.
In the Boys Under-13 age group, the top seeded Khamal Cumberbatch became the first Barbadian to win a Caribbean boys title in ten years when he defeated No. 3 seed Kai Bentick of the OECS 11-6, 13-11, 11-6 in a hard fought final. 
Cumberbatch is the seventh Barbadian boy in three decades to clinch a Caribbean age group title and three of the previous winners are his older brothers – Gavin, Bryant and the current national junior coach Rhett Cumberbatch.
All three of the Barbadian girls competing reached their respective finals with last year’s silver medallist in the Under-13 division, top seed Meagan Best, easily defeating the No. 2 seed Mia Mahfood of Jamaica 11-0, 11-7, 11-6 to clinch her first Caribbean title.
Last year’s Under-13 champion Amanda Haywood, who is playing in the Under-15 age group for the first time and seeded at No. 2, lost in the final 5-11, 5-11, 6-11 to top seeded Alyssa Mullins of Jamaica.
In the Under-17 final, Barbadian Gylla Mackenzie, the No. 2 seed, defeated top seeded Akiela Wiltshire of Guyana in four close games 11-8, 9-11, 11-5, 11-8 to win her first Caribbean age-group title. 
The four medals won this year represent the highest medal haul in the individual competition by Barbados in these championships since 2003.
Three other Barbadian players competed in the Classic Plate competition in two age groups.
In the Boys Under-15 division, Shemane Griffith defeated teammate Rithew Saywack 11-6, 11-8, 11-8 to finish fifth, while in the Under-19 competition, Zaki Williams lost to Jamaican Julian Morrison 10-12,1-11, 2-11 and finished sixth.
The team competition started yesterday and will run until Sunday.
More than 100 competitors from seven Caribbean territories – Barbados, Bermuda, Cayman, Guyana, Jamaica, OECS and hosts Trinidad and Tobago – are taking part in the championships. (PR)