Jamaican and Caribbean number one Chris Binnie racked up his eighth title while former junior Caribbean champion Akelia Wiltshire won her first senior crown, as the BCIC All Jamaica Senior Squash Championships wrapped up over the weekend.
Chasing history, Binnie beat long-time rival Bruce Burrowes 11/6, 11/8, 11/4 to win his seventh consecutive championship, taking his career tally to eight, which puts him within speculative reach of the all-time record of 13, currently held by Jamaican squash titan Wayne Burrowes.
Conversely, Akeila Wiltshire, who has won six junior titles in her native Guyana, got off the mark with her first major win at the senior level. The University of the West Indies medical student beat her younger sister Larissa Wiltshire 11/3, 11/6, 11/8 to begin a new chapter in her own success story.
Another breakthrough came for former junior national champion Tahjia Lumley, who beat former senior champion Dane Schwier 12/10, 11/4, 11/8 to place third in the men’s competition. Similarly, Under-17 girls’ champion Mia Mahfood beat arch-rival Mia Lake 11/6, 8/11, 11/9, 11/5 to grab the last spot on the podium in the ladies’ category.
Reflecting on his victory, Binnie, who won bronze at the Central American and Caribbean Games in July, silver at the Pan American Squash Championships in August, and continues to play on the Professional Squash Association circuit said, “It’s always a thrill to play internationally, particularly when I represent Jamaica, but playing on home soil and winning my national championships — it never gets better than this.”
Summing up her victory over her sibling, Wiltshire said, “Since I moved up to the senior level I’ve placed second in three tournaments, so for this competition I was going out there to win. I didn’t think about playing my sister, I was playing an opponent — so I had a strategy and I executed it.”
Marketing manager for tournament sponsors BCIC, Simone Foote said: “We had some very exciting matches throughout the tournament because Jamaica’s best senior players were competing, but it was particularly satisfying to see the younger players being a force in this competition and more than anything else, there was great camaraderie and good sportsmanship.”
Overall, more than 60 players contested the various categories of the championships which included Men’s A, B, C and Veterans, as well as Ladies A’ and B. Junior national team member Mia Todd won the Tony Burrowes Award for the most improved player and Robert Roper, who won the Men’s B draw, took the David Bicknell Award for Sportsmanship.
Source: Jamaica Observer