Binnie eyes maintained high standard
Despite not achieving the results that he would have wanted, reigning Caribbean Squash champion Christopher Binnie believes that he can continue to maintain his high standard of performances.
The nine-time national champion earned himself another nomination this year for the RJRGLEANER Sports Foundation National Sportsman of the Year award. Binnie says that it is an honour to be nominated again and to know that his strong performances in the calendar year have been recognised, despite him not being able to meet his own expectations overall.
“I’m incredibly grateful to be nominated again,” he told The Gleaner. “I didn’t have the results that I necessarily wanted last year, and I think it was a relatively successful year, qualifying for the Pan American Games and winning again the ninth [Caribbean] title. All of these things are good achievements. [I’m] thankful that they are continuing to see the strides I’m making, and I hope I can continue to perform as the years go on.”
Binnie is coming off a trying season that saw his participation in the Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, limited by injury, but he rebounded with a strong second half of 2019 that saw him win a record ninth Caribbean Area Squash Association title in Guyana in August and the All Jamaica title in November. Binnie says that the struggles have made him more appreciative of the journey taken this year.
“If you try to take the experiences you have and take them in a positive light, then I think you are growing as an individual, as a player, and an athlete. And that’s the only way you can move forward because you start to appreciate things more, and you start to learn what you need, what you can do, and what you can’t do,” he said.
Binnie competed on the Jamaica team that finished 18th overall at the World Team Championships held in Washington, D.C., last week. The quartet, completed by Bruce Burrowes, Lewis Walters, and Tahjia Lumley, faced stiff challenge, from Hong Kong, Australias and Kuwait before rebounding with wins against Colombia and Singapore. Binnie says that they have made significant strides in their second year of competing at the tournament.
He is focused on greater success on tour next year knowing that the Olympic picture is out for next year, but he is hoping that the opportunity presents itself in 2024 in Paris.
“I’m just focused on playing on tour and getting me up as high as I can go and just continuing to represent Jamaica very well. I’m looking forward to next year and the year after. [I will] continue to work on my game, and if those things fall into place as they are meant to, then that’s even better,” he said.
Binnie is in a competitive field vying for the Sportsman of the Year award, which could also go to world long jump champion Tajay Gayle, World Championship discus throw silver medallist Fedrick Dacres, Pan American games discus throw silver medalist Traves Smikle, or Pan American games 1m springboard diving silver medallist Yona Knight-Wisdom.