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Knaggs retains CASA crown
T&T’s Charlotte Knaggs defeated Guyana’s Victoria Arjoon, in what was a repeat of the girls’ under- 17 2011 final to successfully defended her title at the Caribbean Area Squash Association Junior Championships in Kingston, Jamaica. The reigning national senior women’s champion had her work cut out for her in the semifinal match on Saturday however, against fellow Guyanese Akeila Wiltshire. Akeila kept Knaggs at bay throughout their highly contested match, just lagging behind by three points in each set. But Knaggs managed to come out on top each time, winning 13-11, 11-8, 11-8. In the other semifinal, Arjoon came from behind to beat Jamaica’s Mary Mahfood 8-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-3.
In the final which was played on Sunday afternoon, the second-seeded Guyanese tried her best to keep Knaggs from taking the first set but failed to do so, as she went under to the local top seed 11-8. The national under- 17 champ convincingly took the following to sets 11-5,11-2 to successfully grab her second consecutive Caribbean title. National girls’ under- 15 champ, Faith Gillezeau, finished third in her age division after she was dismissed in the semifinal stage by Guyanese top seed Larissa Wiltshire.
Larissa swept over Gillezeau in straight sets, 11-4, 11-8, 11-3 to advance to the final. However Larissa’s winning ways were stopped by home girl, Alyssa Mullings, who claimed the title with 11- 5, 11-8, 11-8 victories. Nku Patrick was also booted out of the main draw when he lost to Guyana’s, Nyron Joseph, in the boys’ under-17 semifinal. Patrick valiantly fought his way into the semis after facing Jamaica’s, Julian Morrison, in their quarterfinal on Saturday. It was a true battle of supremacy as Nku won the first set 11- 7, only to have his opponent rebound 8-11, 9-11 in the next two sets. But in the end Nku prevailed over Morrison 11-4, 12- 10 in the final two sets of the match.
Nku then had to summon the remainder of his strength and endurance to face Joseph on the same day in their semifinal. Nku seemed well on his way to victory as he took the first two sets 11- 9, 11-8. But Joseph retaliated in the next two, winning 11-8, 11-2 to lock the scores 2-2 by the fourth set. In the final deciding set, the national boys’ under-17 champ’s fatigue finally caught up to him as he went under by a close two-point margin- 12-10. Joseph was eventually crowned winner as he got the better of top seed, D'Vario Thompson (Bermuda), 9- 11, 6-11, 11-7, 11-6, 11-8 in the final.
Although Nku’s older Patrick brother, Mandela, exited the main draw in the boys’ under-19 quarterfinal, he did win the consolation draw over Guyana’s Steven Xavier. Mandela discarded his opponent 11-5, 11-3, 11- 2. Also winning their consolation draw matches were national champions Chad Salandy (boys’ under-15), Marie Claire Barcant (girls’ under-13), and Jaime-Leigh Edghill. Salandy squashed Jamaica’s, Stephan Morrison (11- 11-2 11-6) in the boys’ under-15 final, while Barcant overcame Bermuda’s, Olivia Lindsey (11-9, 7-6, 11-13, 11-2) in the girls’ under-13 final. Edghill overcame Jamaican, Ashley Lynch, in the girls’ under-15 division 11-9, 11-7, 11-3.
Yesterday marked the beginning of the team tournament of the Championships. A total of six teams are lined up to clash among the girls’ with matches being played in a round robin format. T&T’s girls’ team was seeded third behind Guyana and Jamaica, and was scheduled to play Jamaica and Barbados yesterday. In the boys’ teams, there are a total of eight teams which are divided into two pools of four teams each. T&T boys' team is seeded fourth behind Bermuda, Guyana and the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). T&T boys are in Pool “A” with Bermuda, Jamaica and Bahamas and were scheduled to play the Bahamas yesterday.
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