Confident Jamaica eyes top 3 spot in JNGI Caribbean Junior Squash Championships

By July 04, 2018
Members of the Junior National Squash Squad who will be representing Jamaica at the 2018 Caribbean Area Squash Association’s (CASA) Junior Championships were in a jovial mood as they accepted a sponsorship cheque from Chris Hind, (centre) General Manager of JN General Insurance at the tournament launch which was held yesterday at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston. Members of the Junior National Squash Squad who will be representing Jamaica at the 2018 Caribbean Area Squash Association’s (CASA) Junior Championships were in a jovial mood as they accepted a sponsorship cheque from Chris Hind, (centre) General Manager of JN General Insurance at the tournament launch which was held yesterday at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston.

 Coach of Jamaica’s junior squash team Bruce Burrowes expects his team to be among the top three teams at the end of the JNGI Caribbean Junior Squash Championships that will be held from July 8 to 14 at the Liguanea Club in Kingston.

More than 120 athletes from seven countries are expected to contest the championships in singles and team play in what will be one of the largest tournaments in the history of the competition. Guyana, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, the Cayman Islands, Bermuda and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States are the countries vying for the title of junior Caribbean champions. Jamaica last hosted the championships in 2012.

Individual age-group competitions will run from Sunday, July 8 to Tuesday, July 10 with the team competition to run from Thursday, July 12 to Saturday, July 14. The tournament organisers expect to get through 110 matches on Sunday as the players battle in u11, u13, u15, u17 and u19 categories.

Burrowes believes his players have prepared to do well in both formats.

“I think we’re getting to that point now where if you’re fit or not fit it’s too late to change it. We have been working hard since January. A lot of the foreign-based players, we’ve only been working with for around two weeks to a month. We know they have been doing their training abroad but the ones we’ve had on the island, we’ve been doing fitness training with them week in week out and we hope it translates into victories,” Burrowes said at the launch of the tournament at the Liguanea Club on Wednesday.

Playing with home-court advantage, the local team has a good mix of young blood and experienced competitors who are eager to make a name for themselves regionally.

All Jamaica Champion and second seed, Jonathan Walker, is a strong contender for the Boys Under 19 title and a final between himself and the favourite, Barbadian Josiah Griffith, could be the match of the tournament, pundits believe.

Other players in title contention are recently crowned All Jamaica Champions, Mia Mahfood, Under 17/19 Girls, Aman Dhiman, Under 13 Boys, Savanah Thomson, Under 13 Girls and Mehar Trehan, Under 11 Girls, all of whom will be aiming to win their respective age groups.

While the Jamaicans are determined to make their mark, stellar performances are expected from the regional supergirl, Meagan Best of Barbados, who currently holds the Under 17 Girls Caribbean title as well as the Caribbean Women’s title; and her teammate Khamal Cumberbatch, who is ranked number one in the Boys Under 17 category.

Another player to watch is Shomari Wiltshire of Guyana, the reigning Under 15 Caribbean Boys Champion, who is favoured to retain his title.

Walker, who will represent the sport at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aries in Argentina, said he and his teammates are confident of doing well.

“I think we are pretty confident, everyone has worked hard. I have worked pretty hard over the past years. I know everyone has their own training regimen but I know every single person on the team has done their fair share so I think everyone is confident,” he said.

Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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