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Medal grab

Barbados strike five squash gold

Barbados continued their impressive campaign at home with five gold medals on Day three at the 2015 Caribbean Association Junior Squash Championship being held at the Squash Club, Marine Gardens, Christ Church.

Today the hosts featured in five finals and won all quite convincingly. Female captain and last year’s under-15 undisputed queen Amanda Haywood played her first year in the under-17 girls division final against Alyssa Mullings of Jamaica. Mullings who came in as the number one seed went down in the best of five sets 11-7, 11-8 and 11-4 to the home girl and number two seed Haywood who looked comfortable playing in front of her adoring home fans.

The smiles of winners (from left) Khamal Cumberbatch, Meagan Best, Sumairaa Suleman, Amanda Haywood and Josiah Griffith after winning individual gold medals today. (Picture by Morissa Lindsay)

The smiles of winners (from left) Khamal Cumberbatch, Meagan Best, Sumairaa Suleman, Amanda Haywood and Josiah Griffith after winning individual gold medals today. (Picture by Morissa Lindsay)

After the game Haywood told Barbados TODAY it was a tough encounter but she tried to maintain focus and keep up with the tall, powerful Mullings.

“She is very strong and hits the ball pretty hard and I was a little scared but I just tried to use the pace to help with my power,” Haywood said.

The fans witnessed another thrilling performance in the under-17 boys final which was won by Barbadian Josiah Griffith who produced a gutsy display to defeat long-time rival Benjamin Mekdeci of Guyana 12-10, 11-3, 10-12, 11-2. Mekdeci showed some determination to win the third set but that did not stop Griffith, indeed it probably motivated him further.

Griffith appeared really pumped in front the large home support and totally dominated the final set to take game. Griffith described the final as hard and explained that coming in as the underdog he was made to pull out all the stops.

“I was the underdog and he [Benjamin] is very hardworking and it was both physically and mentally hard because he has always beaten me easily before,” said Griffith, who was also the under-15 champion last year.

Barbados had two finalists in the under-13 girls showdown and the diminutive Sumairaa Suleman got the better of her compatriot Chelsie Samuel. Suleman had a bag of shots at her disposal and utilized them well to defeat Samuel 12-10, 12-10, 9-11, 11-6. Though Samuel appeared to be a bit nervous she did well to win the third set but Suleman recovered her poise to take the fourth set in style at 6.

Number one seed Khamal Cumberbatch made his brothers and national players Gavin, Rhett and Bryant proud when he swept aside Kai Bentick of the Eastern Caribbean team 11-9, 11-3 and 11-6 to take gold in the under-15 boys division.

Another top seed Meagan Best was also on fire against Makeda Harding in the under-15 girls division. Best did not allow her opponent any room and took the game easily at 11-1, 11-2 and 11-0.

Barbados captain Benjamin Griffith missed out on a medal when he lost his under-19 semi-final game to Jason Doyle of the Eastern Caribbean.

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