Cayman’s women will not qualify for the 2019 Pan American Games after a loss to Argentina in the team event Thursday (30 August) at the XXVIII Pan American Squash Championships.
Facing 5/8 seed Argentina, number one seed Marlene West defeated Fernanda Rocha in straight sets 14-12, 11-7, 11-6. Third seeded Eilidh Bridgeman was knocked off in straight sets to Pilar Etchechoury 11-3, 11-3, 11-3. The final match of the day saw second seeded Samantha Hennings versus Antonella Falcione.
That’s where things got interesting.
Prior to the Thursday, the Cayman Islands National Squash Association (CINSA) entered Wednesday’s technical meeting with a team event ranking of Marlene West, Eilidh Bridgeman and junior champion Jade Pitcairn. After concerns were raised by other countries pointing to Samantha Hennings’ victory over Eilidh Bridgeman at the 2018 National Championships, CINSA inserted the 2018 Women’s runner-up as the two-seed on short notice.
Hennings fell to Antonella Falcione 11-7, 11-7, 11-4. Afterwards, she said the lack of notice, albeit unfair, could have been mitigated.
“It did play a factor. Maybe you train a little harder when you know you’re going to be on the team for sure. That’s something that can be worked on, as a personal point and an organizational development point. We could have a strict regime for training, and I would have put a little more into it.”
The top 12 men’s and top 8 women’s team gain entry to the 2019 Pan Am Games. Peru gains automatic entry as the host nation.
The team event runs until Saturday. Follow the results here.
Finals: Men’s Singles
(1) Diego Elias, Peru def (9/16) Chris Binnie, Jamaica 11-7, 11-8, 11-5
8-time Caribbean champion Chris Binnie’s historic run at the Pan Am Championships ended Wednesday when ‘The Peruvian Puma’ ousted him in straight sets. The win gave the 21-year old World No. 11 his first Pan Am Championships title. Elias did not drop a set the entire singles draw.
“His game takes you out of your concentration. I am really happy because I was able to stay focused. It’s a dream come true to win a Pan Am tournament in seniors, it’s a really good achievement for me.”
Finals: Women’s Singles
(1) Amanda Sobhy, USA def (9/16) Sabrina Sobhy, USA 11-3, 11-8, 11-8
World No. 18 Amanda Sobhy captured her third Pan Am Championships title in a straight sets win over younger sister Sabrina. The number-one seed, who did not lose a set the entire singles draw, says she came in with a strong game plan.
“I wanted to go in there and really extend the rallies and make them very long because I know she’s had some tough matches these past two days, and I have a little more experience. I knew her legs would be tired, and she’s really fast, that’s her strength. I knew if I could suck the energy out of her legs, then I could power through with my strength.”
View all the results here.
(photo: Steve Cubbins)