Bronze for Best
Barbados junior champion finishes third
Barbados’ Meagan Best has finished in third place at the 2014 US Junior Squash Open being held at the Yale University squash complex in New Haven, Connecticut.
Competing in the Under-13 category, Best, the current Barbados and Caribbean U-13 champion came back from 0-2 down in her epic quarter-final match yesterday versus the No. 5 seed Avni Arnand (USA) to win in five pulsating games, 8-11, 4-11, 11-9, 11-7, 11-5.
Best then lost to the same player who beat her in the Canadian Open in her semi-final match yesterday evening, going down to the No. 2 seed Marina Stephanoni (USA) 5-11, 9-11, 3-11.
Undeterred by her semi-final setback yesterday, however, Meagan took to the Yale No. 7 court this morning full of confidence and won again in straight games against yet another seeded player, this time the No. 3 seed Lucia Bicknell (CAN) 11-7, 15-13, 11-8 in a tense contest.
This third place finish by Meagan is one of the best finishes by any Barbadian junior girl at a major international squash competition and is the best showing by any Barbadian at the US Junior Open since Gavin Cumberbatch placed second in the U-16 age group in 1998.
There was further success for Barbados when Khamal Cumberbatch won the U-13 Consolation Plate 2 competition. Josiah Griffith was scheduled to take to the court late this evening in the final of the U-15 consolation draw.
Barbados U-13 champion Cumberbatch, seeded at No. 9/16, defeated David Costales from Ecuador 3-1 in the quarter-finals of the second consolation draw yesterday afternoon. Cumberbatch then beat Canadian Ali Shalaby 3-2 in the semi-finals last night and today he defeated Egyptian Yahya Megahed 11-3, 4-11, 10-12, 15-13, 11-8 in a tense and testy affair to win the second consolation plate final.
Griffith has defeated all comers in the first consolation draw thus far. He won twice on Monday 3-0 against Tyler Mackesy (USA) and then Zach Bradlow (USA) respectively to reach today’s semi-finals. Griffith then dispatched Andres Lopez (ESA) earlier this morning 3-1 in the semi-final 11-4, 11-9, 5-11, 12-10 and was down to play in the consolation plate final against Canadian James Flynn.
Michael Best, the Barbados junior team manager this year was overjoyed with the performance of the Barbadian players on this tour.
“This was a fantastic four days of competition for these kids in particular and for Barbadian junior squash in general. We have now firmly placed ourselves on the map in two successive major world events in squash. All the juniors have been training hard this year so kudos must be extended to our national junior coach, Rhett Cumberbatch, who has been with us on this tour every step of the way and who is understandably over the moon with delight right now,” Best said.
There were 906 juniors who entered this year in the US Junior Open in eight age group categories (U-13, U-15, U-17, and U-19) for both boys and girls. The tournament commenced on December 20 and ended today.