Monday, October 16, 2017

Junior Gold

   107 of Canada's best juniors descended on Windsor this weekend to battle it out for squash supremacy.  As this tournament is a world junior designated selection event for players looking to represent Canada in international tournaments, we had players from PEI to British Columbia enter.         
     Matches lived up to their expectation beginning with the first matches as the action was fast and furious with very few players walking away with easy wins.  23 of Windsor's players took part in the action led by Amin Khan (U15, #2 in Ontario) and Ananya Maheshwari (U13, #5).  Amin was playing up in the U17 division and Ananya was looking to continue her solid play in the tough U13 division. 
     Sara Khan started off the tournament against Marlow Benson (#3) and got out to a quick 2-0 lead.  However, Marlow clawed back and was able to take the match 11-9 in the 5th.  Phil Dimitrov dug deep and pulled out a gut-wrenching win with an 11-9 win in the 5th game.  Vishaal Mehta easily cruised into the second round with a 3-0 win.  Aaron Nagy continued his strong play and advanced into the main round for the second tournament in a row.  Amin and Ananya also moved on to the 2nd with wins. 
      Saturday proved to be a long day of squash with matches beginning at 8:30 and continuing right into the evening.  Of all our players that moved on to the main round, only Amin and Ananya continued into the main draws.  However, that didn't stop the great play going on in the consolation.  Vishaal and Aaron both advanced to the con finals where they lost tough matches.   The match of the weekend was a standing-room only match of Amin vs. Nikhil Ismail (#1).  There were many long rallies with great retrieval and shot-making.  Amin kept the Windsor crowd on the edge of their seats as the match went down to the wire.  Unfortunately, Amin could not hang on, losing 11-7 in the 5th.
     The favourite part of this tournament is the Saturday dinner catered by Windsor Palace.  Over 200 people attended including representatives from the City of Windsor, Squash Ontario, Squash Canada and other local dignitaries.  The juniors presented a thank you video to Graeme and Dave for all their hard work.  The highlight of the night was when Anis took the mic to announce raffle winners.
Players who did extra reffing had their name put in a draw for an iPhone.  The iPhone was won by a very excited Shirin Batra from Toronto.  However, Anis was not done.  All parents who attended the dinner had their names put into a raffle for a laptop.  Petronella Nbende of Toronto was the lucky recipient.  And last but not least, all the coaches were put into a raffle for a Microsoft Surface Pro,  which was won by Squash Canada's Steve Wren.  Steve was kind enough to re-donate to a junior which our very own Phil Dimitrov.  All of these items were donated by Ciena Healthcare.  It was a great evening that left many people talking about what a great event Windsor puts on.
     Although Sunday saw many tired players, the level of squash remained high.  Amin finished in 4th place and Ananya played amazing in the finals but couldn't hang on to win her first U13 title.  The girl's U19 final lived up to its expectations.  Brooke Herring of British Columbia defeated National Champion Charlotte Orcutt 11-9 in the 5th.  The boys U19 final was expected to be a close math and that is was.  National Champion Akasham Rajagopaul vs. U17 National Champion, George Crowne.  The match was never separated by more than a couple of points.  Both players showed great shot-making and amazing retrieval skills but what stood out the most was the high level of sportsmanship.  George was able to pull it out 11-9 in the fifth.
     Windsor was spoken very highly from all out of town participants and events like this really help put Windsor on the map as a destination to come to.  Thank you to all the members that were inconvenienced this weekend.  Thank you to all the members that came out to watch.  Pictures from this weekend can be found here and complete draws can be found here

No comments:

Post a Comment