Ja's four-member male team brace for tough PanAm Squash qualifiers

By Sports Desk June 01, 2023
Tahjia Lumley (left) and Julian Morrison Tahjia Lumley (left) and Julian Morrison contributed

Expectations are high that Jamaica’s four-member male squash team will secure qualification to the Pan American (PanAm) Games in Chile later this year, when they engage the PanAm Qualifiers in Cartagena, Colombia.

The team of reigning national champion Julian Morrison, Tahjia Lumley, Bruce Burrowes and Dane Schwier, is set to depart the island on Friday, for what is expected to be a highly competitive qualification tournament.

However, Morrison said the small team was ready to put their best foot forward.

“You can expect that we will be giving a hundred percent. We have put in a lot of work for the last two months to really prep ourselves for this.

“Initially we thought it would be an elevated court but finding out that it is very flat, so we are not necessarily at a disadvantage due to the altitude. It is hot over there, but we are coming from Jamaica, especially in this summer, we will be able to weather that storm,” Morrison said.

Burrowes concurred.

“We are going up against very, very big countries like America, Peru, these really big juggernauts of the western hemisphere. But we really think that we can take them on because ‘we little but we tallawah," Burrowes declared. 

First-timer Lumley also believes the team is mentally and physically prepared to give a good account of themselves.

“We have been doing a lot of doubles training together. We have also started training as a team on the physical side in the gym with our trainer, so we have been doing a lot of team bonding which is really good for us, something new but it’s also something that we hope to continue in the future,” said Lumley.

“A lot of work has been done on the mental side as well. Hopefully we can all put it together on each day that we go out there with our flag on our back and make sure that we make Jamaica proud,” he added. 

Meanwhile, Karen Anderson, president of the Jamaica Squash Association, is hopeful that the team will do well.

"It is going to be a very tough competition. Its fourteen teams vying for six spots and the main competitors, or the strongest contenders are from Mexico, USA, Canada, Colombia and Argentina,” Anderson said.

“Colombia, however, has already qualified along with Chile. But it is going to be extremely hard, but we feel that we have a chance, and the reality is, if you don't go, you don't get a chance to actually compete to qualify, so we made the decision to send our team and we are looking forward to seeing how they manage,” she noted.

Coach Rene Denis will meet up with the team in Colombia. 

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