Fernandes, Wiltshire take top honours in Caribbean Junior Squash

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By Treiston Joseph  

Female captain Taylor Fernandes and Shomari Wiltshire highlighted Guyana’s individual performances on the third day of the Caribbean Junior Squash Championships played at the Georgetown Club Courts on Tuesday.

Guyana won just two individual titles, with Fernandes winning the last junior title of her bright career, while Wiltshire continued his stellar rise by winning the Under-15 category. Fernandes, captain of the female squad, defeated Bajan Amanda Haywood by a 3-2 scoreline in the Under-19 category.

The lanky squash player showed off her aggressive side, but also displayed exquisite shot placement. She also exhibited the ability to hold her nerves in pressure situation that was pivotal to the game that ended 11-8, 8-11, 12-10, 5-11 and 11-8 in an exciting back and forth duel.

Fernandes spoke on the match and what it means for her. “It’s pretty special and exciting, I was just focusing on doing what I had to because it just wasn’t for me alone with was for my country and my family and I’m really happy,” an emotional Fernandes told News Room Sport.

Things didn’t go as planned for Ben Mekdeci in his final on Tuesday

Fernandes, who did not lose a game in the tournament, also spoke on facing Haywood, who is touted as one of the best players in the tournament, as well as her next move heading into the senior category.

“I was looking forward to it; was a bit nervous and she pushed me, I have been watching her play but never got to play her because I was a year ahead, but it was great. I might just start coaching because I am a coach, stick around and help Coach Ince inspire the juniors to do what I did and become Caribbean champion,” Fernandes mentioned.

Meanwhile, Wiltshire was simply in a class all by himself and easily won the Under-15 title with a 3-1 victory over Christopher Anthony. Wiltshire showcased all of his skill to run away with the match at 11-1, 9-11, 11-1 and 11-2.

In other results, Guyana’s Male team captain Ben Mekdeci in the Under-19 category lost to Guyana-born Bajan Josiah Griffith in four sets at 4-11, 11-8, 11-6 and 11-4. Griffith spoke on the win and his ties to Guyana.

“It’s always good to play against Ben, I made a lot of mistakes in the first (set) and he won that pretty comfortably but I just had to refocus and fix that and that’s what I did. I was born here but never played for Guyana, I have been playing for Barbados for four years now but the people here are my friends and family and I know that deep down they are cheering for me even if I win or lose,” Griffith noted.

Guyana’s Mohryan Baksh lost in the Boys Under-11 final to Seth Thong in three straight sets at 11-0, 11-2 and 11-9; Kirsten Gomes lost in the Girls Under-13 final to Sumairaa Suleman in three sets at 11-3, 11-4 and 11-2; and Abosaide Cadogan feel short in the Girls Under-15 final for Guyana in three straight sets at 11-2, 11-5 and 11-2.

Barbados won six of the 10 finals in the individual category. The team aspect of the championship is set to begin on Wednesday at the Georgetown Club Courts.

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