Sagicor General Insurance Junior National Squash Championships 2018


There was plenty of exciting squash action on the final day of the Sagicor General Insurance Junior National Squash Championships at the Barbados Squash Club, Marine Gardens, on Sunday March 11th with excellent performances from the participants in eight different age groups. The top seeds all prevailed with the Caribbean Under-17 champions Meagan Best and Khamal Cumberbatch winning two national titles each in the under 17 and under 19 categories.

The 2017 Caribbean and USA U-17 Champion, Meagan Best, comfortably defeated the improving Sumairaa Suleman in the Girls U-17 age group 11-2, 11-0, 11-3 and then returned later in the afternoon to face off her perennial rival Amanda Haywood in the GU-19 final in five exciting games to claim her second national U-19 title and her eleventh national championship title in all, after winning the Girls U-17 age group title earlier. This GU-19 final was  more competitive than Best’s 3-1 victory over Haywood in the senior national ladies final held a month ago. After fighting back from losing the first game 7-11 Haywood was able to aggressively snatch the second game from Best 11-6 but Best regained her composure and dominated in the third game winning 11-5 but Haywood meant she was not going down without a fight so she regrouped and was able to claim the fourth game 11-6. As the final deciding game got started no one could guess the outcome as both girls were on top of their game but Haywood appeared to have lost focus returning on court to only take one point from Best who ensured she took advantage of Haywood’s mistakes and claimed the final game 11-1 over her perennial rival, who is a 6-time former national age group champion herself. The GU-19 third place match was contested by 16 yr-old twin sisters Jada and Jodi Smith-Padmore with Jodi who for the first time defeated Jada coming out on top in four games 11-6, 11-6, 10-12, 11-5 in a very close and exciting match.

The matchup between the 2017 Caribbean U-17 Champion Khamal Cumberbatch, who is currently studying overseas at Avon high school in the USA, and Chemar Burnham in the BU-19 final was not as close as Cumberbatch never allowed his opponent to settle and won easily 11-2, 11-2, 11-5 to claim his 14th national age group championship after winning the Boys U-17 age group title earlier the same day. The BU-19 third place match was won by Kemar Lord by default when his opponent, Joshua Seale withdrew with an injury. The Boys U-19 Plate winner was Ryan Archer. The mixed U-15 Champion was Darien Benn who defeated Sumairaa Suleman 11-3, 11-9, 11-4. Chelsie Samuel took third place after defeating Rebekah Nichols 11-2, 11-0, 11-6.

The younger age groups were just as exciting as Armaan Suleman, defeated the #1 seed, Dominic Marquez, in the BU-11 final 2-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-6. Theodore Hagley defeated Nikolas Greig 11-7, 11-4, 11-2 to finish third. Noah Clarke won the BU-11 consolation plate by defeating Liam Greig 11-9, 11-8, 11-3.  Left-handed Aidan Parris then played Nathan King in the BU-13 final and won 11-3, 11-4, 11-2. Relatively new but skillful player from Badminton Harrison Griffith defeated Raziel Lopey 11-4, 11-4, 11-7 to finish third in this age group. Dominic Wilson won the BU-13 consolation plate by defeating his twin brother Luke Wilson in four exciting games 5-11, 11-5, 15-13, 11-7.

The GU-13 age group was won by 2017 U-11 Caribbean champion Rebekah Nichols who defeated Jade Blakeley 11-7, 11-2, 11-4. Third in the Girls U-13 was Phoebe Gittens. While in the GU-11 age group Phoebe Gittens was the Champion after defeating Kristen Nurse 11-3, 11-4, 11-5.

At the presentation ceremony that followed the last final, Mrs. Alison Smith-Padmore, the President of the Barbados Squash Association reported marked increase in number of participants in the junior development program as well as increase entrants in the national junior tournament. Amanda Haywood was given a standing ovation as it was her last Junior National Championship.  Mr. Roger Spencer, Assistant Vice President (Marketing) of Sagicor General Insurance pledged support for this event for another year and congratulated the tournament participants and complimented the players for their excellent performances over the three days of competition. Armaan Suleman and Jade Blakeley were awarded trophies for being the Most Improved Boy and Girl in the competition while the Richard Walcott Sportsmanship Award was presented to Dominic Wilson.

Tournament Final Positions

Final Positions of Boys Under 11

        1       Armaan Suleman

        2       Dominic Marquez

        3       Theodore Hagley

Final Positions of Girls  Under 11

        1       Phoebe Gittens

        2       Kristen Nurse

        3       Decyrah Collymore

Final Positions of Boys Under 13

        1       Aidan Parris

        2       Nathan King

        3       Harrison Griffith

  Final Positions of Girls Under 13

        1       Rebekah Nichols

        2       Jade Blakeley

        3       Phoebe Gittens

  Final Positions of OPEN Under 15

        1       Darien Benn

        2       Sumairaa Suleman

        3       Chelsie Samuel

  Final Positions of Boys Under 17

        1       Khamal Cumberbatch

        2       Darien Benn

        3       Chemar Burnham

  Final Positions of Girls Under 17

        1       Meagan Best

        2       Sumairaa Suleman

        3       Jodi Smith-Padmore

  Final Positions of Boys Under 19

        1       Khamal Cumberbatch

        2       Chemar Burnham

        3       Kemar Lord

  Final Positions of Girls Under 19

        1       Meagan Best

        2       Amanda Haywood

        3       Jodi Smith-Padmore