Binnie wins record fifth regional title
Squash sensation Chris Binnie claimed his fourth consecutive Caribbean men's title last night, bringing his overall tally of regional championships to a record-setting five.
The reigning All Jamaica men's champion beat Cameron Stafford of Cayman 11/9, 11/7, 11/8 to retain his hold on the regional crown at the 2014 Caribbean Area Senior Championships, now under way in Bridgetown, Barbados.
The win was sweet relief for Binnie, who spent the first half of 2014 recovering from surgery which kept him out of competition for almost nine months.
The long lay-off, coupled with the tournament's punishing schedule, which had him playing five matches in three days, left room for doubt that the Jamaican could continue his dominance.
Smelling blood, Binnie's regional rivals pounced, forcing him to dig deep to beat a spirited Micah Franklin 11/6, 7/11, 11/3, 5/11, 11/7 in the quarter-finals; and long-time nemesis Richard Chin 11/8, 11/9, 14/12 in the semi-finals.
However, Binnie kept his head to finish the tournament with his ever-improving record intact. Playing in his sixth final in as many years, he delivered the win to better the record he set in 2013.
"This is a sweet victory for me because after having surgery last year and spending so many months rehabbing, there were times when I wasn't sure I'd be able to defend this title," Binnie said.
"It feels really good to win the Caribbean Championships for the fifth time and to make sure that Jamaica stays at the top of regional squash," he added.
The focus of the 2014 Caribbean Area Squash Championship now switches to the team competition.