By Morissa Lindsay
National representatives for squash continue to blaze a trail with victories at the 37th Senior Caribbean Squash Championship as well as the 2022 World Masters Tournament where veterans Mark Sealy and Karen Meakins have reached the semifinal.
Meakins, a 15-time national women’s champion won her quarterfinals match in straight sets against Jennifer Dillon of Ireland while Sealy, an eight time Barbadian men’s individual champion came from 2-0 down to defeat South African Francis Bradford 3-2 in an entertaining showdown today.
Currently being played in Wrocław, Poland, Meakins and Sealy will both be in action tomorrow in their quest to advance in their respective age groups of the women’s Over-50s and the men’s Over-60s as they both aim to reach the final for the first time at this level.
Meakins will compete against Sarah Parr of England in the women’s semifinal while Sealy will take on the number two seed Peter Gilbee of Australia in an effort to secure their place in the final.
Bringing it closer to home, it was a sensational start for team Barbados as the ladies won 3-2 in their opening match of the team competition yesterday at the 37th Senior Caribbean Team Squash Championships being played at the Liguanea Club in Kingston, Jamaica.
Sponsored by WATA, the talented Barbados female team led by captain Jodi Smith- Padmore and comprising teenager Eboni Atherley along with Muffin Stollmeyer did well to come from behind and win given that they did not have the allotted five players as required for the competition.
The Jamaicans took a comfortable 2-0 lead because Sanjana Nallapati and Nathlee Boreland both won by default and therefore left the rest up to their teammates Mia Todd, Melissa Lue Yen and Savannah Thomson to complete the mission against the Barbadians.
First up on the court was Smith-Padmore leading by example with a hard fought 11-5, 11-8, 5-11, 4-11 and 11-5 victory against Mia Todd. That particular contest was crucial for both teams as it was the number one seeded matchup between the two countries. Smith- Padmore as a first-time captain for Barbados set an early winning tempo for the Bajan ladies as Atherley and Stollmeyer accomplished success in their respective matches of the two best of three sets showdown.
While Smith- Padmore’s encounter lasted for 45 minutes, young Atherley took care of business against her rival Melissa Lue Yen in 36 minutes in what was also a commendable showing at her first Senior Caribbean Area Squash Championship for Barbados.
Atherley, a student of Christ Church Foundation, came from behind to trounce Lue Yen 7-11, 12-14, 11-5, 11-3 and 11-3 in another entertaining battle.
With the game tied 2-2 Jamaica playing at home would have hoped to get their campaign off to a winning start but instead Stollmeyer, the eldest and most senior player on the Barbados team denied them such bragging rights with a stellar performance that lasted for 35 minutes.
Over the years Stollmeyer has represented Barbados well in squash and with a few of the country’s top players being unavailable she stepped up and delivered again against Savannah Thomson in the final encounter of the match. Stollmeyer won 11-8, 7-11, 7-11, 11-8 and 11-9 and that ensured that team Barbados captured a well-deserved 3-2 victory. [email protected]