Cameron Stafford and Marlene West’s magical mixed doubles run at the XXVIII Pan American Squash Championships ended Wednesday (29 August) with an 11-8, 11-9 loss to Colombia in the finals.
Led by World No. 6 Miguel Angel Rodriguez and World No. 72 Catalina Pelaez, the Colombians flustered Cayman’s duo with a front-back formation, something Stafford says they adapted to, albeit, too late in the match.
“They got their tactics right on, we made a few errors in the first game,” said Stafford. “As the game went on, we figured them out & got our groove. It’s unfortunate we lost that second set, but I’m happy with our performance, Marlene & I should hold our heads up high and our silver medal for Cayman.”
West added the Colombian ‘Cannonball’, Rodriguez, was a handful.
“He’s, excuse me, friggin fast,” said West. “It was hard to keep the ball away from him, and attack someone who was at the front.”
Stafford and West’s runner-up finish is the best all-time for a Cayman Islands National Squash Association (CINSA) doubles team at a Pan American Squash Championship.
Semifinals: Men’s Singles
Chris Binnie, 9/16, (JAM) def Chris Hanson, 5/8, (USA) 3-11, 5-11, 14-12, 11-1, 11-8
The eigh-time Caribbean champion fought back from 2-0 to win a five-set war with American Chris Hanson. A back-and-forth affair saw the momentum swing in the third set with the Jamaican fighting off numerous match-point balls. The American, who seemed frustrated at times, opted to relinquish the fourth set 11-1 to preserve energy for the fifth. Binnie ultimately prevailed in what he said was a battle.
“I just hung in there, I tried to do a couple of different things,”said Hanson. “Thankfully, eventually, something went my way. I am pretty lucky to have come out of that match, seeing I was at the back end of it at the beginning, but I am happy I was able to get through.”
This will be the first Pan Am Championships finals appearance by a Jamaican squash player in the programme’s history.
Diego Elias, 1, (PER) def Todd Harrity, 5/8, (USA) 11-8, 11-8, 11-6
‘The Peruvian Puma’ seemingly chased down every one of American Todd Harrity’s balls Tuesday, extending his streak of consecutive wins in men’s singles play. The World No. 11 has yet to lose a set in the tournament.
“I am feeling pretty good, I’ve been playing really tough matches,” said Elias. “I was lucky to win 3-0 again, so I am feeling good for the finals. He’s Top 50 in PSA, so I knew it was going to be a hard match and I would need to be at my best.”
This will be the first match ever between Elias and Binnie. Neither player has ever won the Pan Am Championships men’s singles title.
Semifinals: Women’s Singles
Amanda Sobhy, 1, (USA) def Danielle Letourneau, 5/8, (CAN) 11-4, 11-5, 11-6
The World No. 18 has yet to drop a set in both singles or doubles play cruising in three set to Wednesday evening’s finals. She’ll face sister Sabrina Sobhy who defeated second seeded Samantha Cornett of Canada 11-6 12-10 6-11 11-8. The elder Amanda, age 25, says sister Sabrina, age 21, will not get the best of her in the finale.
“She has one win over me in the finals of the US Nationals in 2014 and I swore I’d never let her beat me again,” said Sobhy. “I’m hoping to keep that streak alive.”
View all the results here