Barbados dominate squash tourney

Barbados Squash players have once again shown their supremacy on the regional stage.

For the first time in 16 years, local squash is back on a regional pillar of glory having captured the overall titles at the Junior Caribbean Area Squash Association (CASA) Tournament held in Guyana last month and now the Seniors have brought back home the overall title from the championships held in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

The veterans who secured their seventh consecutive team title, the ladies their second and the men their third, exited the arrival area at the Grantley Adams International Airport this morning just after 12 a.m. with broad smiles on their faces, proudly displaying their medallions.

Noticeably absent was the undisputed queen of the Caribbean, Meagan Best, who defended her reign for a second consecutive year against team captain and fellow Barbadian player Karen Meakins with a 3-0 result in the final.

The victorious Barbados team at the 2017 Senior Caribbean Area Squash Association Championship. (Picture by Morissa Lindsay)

Best, undefeated for the past two years, can attest to her dominant display on court especially against former three-time regional and 15-time national champion, Meakins, who made her 11th straight individual finals appearance this year.

Despite the humid weather conditions in St Vincent, the Barbados team put on an impressive and additionally pulsating showing led by the veterans, winning all of their respective matches this year, playing Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Guyana, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States and against Trinidad and Tobago who they defeated 3-2 in a very competitive finals.

Captain of the Barbados veterans team, Mark Sealy, with six championship trophies to his name inclusive of two in the Over-40s, told Barbados TODAY that prior to leaving for St Vincent the team trained extremely hard knowing the courts were not air-conditioned in St Vincent.

“We had to train very hard on the one non-air-conditioning court in Barbados, because when we get there we knew it would have been even hotter in St Vincent than in Barbados.

“There were a number of matches that were very close and we did win a number of matches three-two, so it was very competitive in the veterans tournament and even down to the match against Trinidad, it was very tight and it could have gone either way but the team pulled through. I think it is because the team trained particularly hard and we got on very well together as a team and I think that is where we have had the success over the years, seven years in a row,” Sealy expressed elatedly.

Playing without one of their most experienced players in Amanda Haywood, currently overseas representing Barbados in badminton, the six-member national women’s squash team consisted of junior players Sumairaa Suleman along with twin sisters Jada and Jodi Smith-Padmore making their debut, and they exhibited the level of confidence required to play at the senior level. Sponsored by Barbados TODAY and Jammin, the ladies played four matches, won three but it was not enough to retain their title. Guyana who were runners-up last year got their revenge this time around.

There were other top individual performances which came through Lynn Decambra-McLeod as the over-50s ladies queen while Andrea Goodridge was second in the over-40s.

Long-standing team manager since 1997, Orson Simpson, sang Best’s praises while commending the team generally for what he deemed to be an outstanding performance.

“It is good to retain the overall championship. We lost last year to Trinidad and this year the actual scores were tied and we [Barbados] won on the count back [of matches played and won]. We had some positives because our ladies team, for example, was a young team with a thirteen-year- old and two fifteen-year-olds and we didn’t have Amanda this year, so we did very well to finish second. We had to win some very tight matches and with someone like Jada in at number four seed, actually stepped up and won an important match against Trinidad,” Simpson said.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *