Caribbean champions Khamal Cumberbatch and Megan Best were in outstanding form during the 2017 Junior National Squash Championships which were contested last weekend.
Cumberbatch and Best both carted off two titles as the island’s best juniors produced some exciting squash and fought for supremacy in eight divisions.
Best, the 2016 Caribbean and Canadian Under-15 champion, comfortably defeated Darien Benn in the Under-15 mixed tournament — where boys and girls play against each other — and later returned to prevail over rival Amanda Haywood in the girls Under-19 final.
The Under-19 finalists fought in three exciting games before Best won 14-12, 11-6, 11-4 to claim her first Under-19 title and her overall ninth national championship.
Haywood, a six-time national age-group champion was much more competitive in this encounter and held game point in the first game, coming from 8-10 down to lead 12-11, but could not suppress the champion.
Improving 15 year-old twin sisters Jada and Jodi Smith-Padmore contested the third-place play-off with Jada winning in four games — 11-3, 7-11, 11-7, 11-7.
The mixed U-15 third place went to Sumairaa Suleman who defeated Ryan Archer 11-6, 11-6, 11-3.
Among the boys, Cumberbatch, the current Caribbean Under-15 champion who is attending high school in the United States, took his first title as he defeated No.2 seed Joshua Seale 11-4, 11-2, 11-6 in the Under-17 mixed final and then returned to stop No.2 seed , left hander Zachary Proverbs-Harris in the boys Under-19 final.
Cumberbatch never allowed his older and taller opponent to settle and won easily 11-5, 11-5, 11-6 to claim his 12th national age group championship. The boys under-19 third place was taken by Chemar Burnham, who won by default over Joshua Seale as he was forced to withdraw because of a stomach ailment.
The younger age groups were just as exciting as Darien Benn took his third Under-13 title by defeating Caribbean under-11 champion Alex Stewart in the final , 11-5, 11-3, 11-6. Left hander Aidan Parris defeated Zishan Motara 11-1, 11-8, 11-2 to finish third in this age group.
Stewart also was a winner in the championships as he was too strong for the No.2 seed Zishan Motara, in the Under-11 final, and won 11-1, 11-2, 11-2.
Jordan Greig defeated Kimani Taitt 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 to finish third.
Caribbean champion Sumairaa Suleman won the girls Under-13 age-group with a 11-2, 11-5, 11-3 victory over Rebekah Nichols while in the girls Under-11 age group, Nichols defeated Phoebe Gittens11-1, 11-4, 11-2 to finish first in round-robin play as Laea Blakeley was second and Gittens, third.