Barbados ‘number one Squash seeds in the male, Khamal Cumberbatch, and female, Meagan Best, junior divisions performed as expected and captured the island’s Open Under-19 titles last weekend.
Though both, who reigned in the lower junior categories, were playing in the U-19 division for the first time, they did not disappoint on the court Sunday at the Barbados Squash Club’s, Marine Gardens, Christ Church headquarters.
Some 55 players hailing from British Virgin Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and the United States of America, competed alongside Barbadians in the all-categories Barbados Open Juniors event that ran from Nov. 28 to Dec. 01.
In the top category finals 17-year-old Cumberbatch made easy work of fellow Barbadian Darien Benn in straight sets, 11-1, 11-3, 11-6; and Best, also 17, disposed of defending champion, number two seed and fellow Barbadian, Jada Smith-Padmore, similarly in straight sets,11-4, 11-1, 11-2.
“I feel like I played really well. I tried to stay steady, limit my errors and I feel like I did a good job with that,” newly crowned U-19 Open male champion Cumberbatch said following the victory.
After taking her new title, Best said she feels in the in great fitness.
“I went on the court and did what I had to do, and I am proud of how I played so it is good to see training playing off. Jada played amazing, everyone is improving, so I am happy.”
Best who, along with Cumberbatch, is studying in the United States now has her eyes set on her host country’s competition.
“I am in a good position for the US Open. Obviously, I have a couple more weeks to get ready, so I will be doing more fitness and racquet work to get ready for the US open. I am in the best shape that I have ever been so hopefully I can keep it up in the next two weeks.”