Cayman’s men’s team failed to qualify for the 2019 Pan Am Games after a 2-0 loss to Chile Friday (31 August) in the team event of the XXVIII Pan American Squash Championships.
After a 2-0 loss to Brazil Thursday, Cayman faced Chile with entry to the games on the line.
National champion Cameron Stafford opened the best of three series versus Chilean Jamie Pinto. The top-seeded Pinto beat Stafford in straight sets 11-8, 11-4, 11-8.
The hopes of qualification then laid in the hands of Cayman’s Jake Kelly as he faced Chilean Maximilliano Camiruga. After dropping the first set 11-8, Kelly fought back in the second. After building a 7-2 lead, Kelly dropped the next 9 points to lose 11-8. The Cayman No. 2 seed would battle to a 13-11 third set victory, but would drop the fourth set 11-8 to eliminate Cayman from qualification.
Stafford said he was disappointed with the result, but ultimately proud of his team’s performance.
“It’s pretty gutting, it’s a tough pill to swallow. I didn’t play my best today. Credit to Chile, they deserve to go through. Jake did well to fight back a game, it’s unfortunate that in the end he wasn’t able to push through. We can hold our heads high because we represented our country well on this stage.”
The top 12 men’s and top 8 women’s team gain entry to the games. Peru has automatically qualified as the host nation.
Cayman’s women’s team failed to qualify Thursday after a 2-0 loss to Argentina.
The tournament’s final day is Saturday 1st September. You can view all the results here.
(photo: Steve Cubbins)