Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Chris Binnie raises the bar

Published:Wednesday | August 24, 2016 | 8:00 AM
From left: National squash player Chris Binnie, Delories Jones, VP Marketing, JN Fund Managers (JNFM), Gillian Binnie, secretary general, Jamaica Squash Association (Chris’ mom) and Brando Hayden, general manager for JNFM.

KINGSTON:

Top ranked Jamaican squash player, Chris Binnie, has set a tough new target for himself.

Now well on the way to be among the top 50 players in the world, Binnie is setting his sights on being among the top ten. The new challenge is based on his agenda to achieve his first target within six months, after becoming No. 77 in the global standings for July, climbing from 93 last November; and 131 in October of 2013.

"It has been a good year for me," he said. "And, I am expecting my global ranking to continue improving."

The Professional Squash Association (PSA) ranks the world's best players, and the top 50 players form an elite group, who travel the world competing in the major events. Within that group, the top ten form an inner core, with participants who play at the very highest levels.

"My goal is to get into the 60's by the end of this year, and into the 50's in the world rankings by January," he said. "Beyond that, I am working to get to the top."

The highest PSA ranked player in the Caribbean Region, Binnie won a record-breaking seventh Caribbean Area Squash Association's Senior Men's Championship title in Trinidad and Tobago on August 10. However, his global ranking is actually based on international competitions, such as the Tour De Las Americas in June, where he defeated Stuart Hadden in Paraguay; and the Torneo Internacional in Guatemala in May, when he beat Olli Tuominen.

During the off-season period June and August, Binnie's main focus has been on training. His coach, Rod Martin, formerly ranked number two in the world, has been guiding him through the process; along with a strength trainer and physiotherapist.

"It is a heavy load," Binnie pointed out. "Apart from the strength training, I am doing a lot of running, and trying to improve my fitness."

 

Performance peak

 

And at the age 27, Binnie is just entering the period when his performance is expected to peak in the sport.

"The training is difficult and I am trying to maintain a balance in developing my conditioning," he said, before adding that, "I am enjoying it. I love squash."

Sponsorship support has been vital to his success; and he singled out JN Fund Managers (JNFM), which provided the assistance to enable him to boost his training regime. The arrangement, which came into force in March, also helped him participate in more global competitions, further contributing to the improvement in his PSA ranking.

"The support from JN Fund Managers helped me climb to my present level," Binnie said. "Without their assistance, I would not be able to aim even higher."

Brando Hayden, general manager of JNFM, said: "I congratulate Chris on his rise in the world rankings. It is nothing short of impressive.

"We are not surprised that he has advanced, because Chris puts a lot of work into what he does," the JNFM general manager stated. "He flies the Jamaican flag high, and we are happy to partner with him on his journey."