Local squash juniors set sights on Caribbean Championships
FOLLOWING the recently concluded three-day national junior squash trials at the Liguanea Club, vice-president of the Jamaica Squash Association and chairman of the selection committee, Joey Levy, believes that an event he described as the ‘pre-trials’ gave a solid representation of where the local and overseas players are as they compete for places on the team to the upcoming Caribbean Squash Championships in St Vincent and the Grenadines.
Levy said the ‘pre-trials’ was the first step in the qualification process.
“This was a good opportunity for us to have a preliminary trial event. We are aiming to have another one in the summer, closer to the Caribbean tournament. We had 15 kids in all the categories and it was very competitive. We hope to have the second trial event in June, and by then, teams should be selected before the end of the month so they will get enough time to be prepared,” he stated.
Levy believes that based on what he saw from the ‘pre-trials’, the team could have a good shot at bringing back the 2023 Caribbean squash title to Jamaica when the championships is held in July.
“We have experienced and strong players who have been to the Caribbean Championships before, so I think we have a good shot at winning some of the categories, and hopefully, we can bring home the trophy this year,” Levy added.
Defending champion Tobias Levy was the most dominant male player in both the Under-17 and Under-19 categories as he sent back all five of his opponents as only one of his matches went to a five-setter. That five-setter came against Arjan Trehan as he still managed to complete a 5-2 victory. Tobias Levy, who was in a no-nonsense mood, credited his success to hard work and believes that he has what it takes to carry Team Jamaica.
“I’ve been playing squash since I was very young, and I’ve been dominant from I came on the scene. I would say my racket skills when I’m on the court definitely put me above everyone else, and I’ve been training hard, so that helps me stay dominant,” Levy said.
On the female side, the most impressive work came from Sanjana Nallapati as she won her fixtures in straight sets. Nallapati hopes that with her previous experience at the Caribbean Championships, she will be able to reap better rewards.
“For the Caribbean Championships, I hope to do very well. I placed third last year. One of the top two players has passed the age, so I’m assuming I’m second right now, so I hope that I can make it to the final and get that first place this time around,” Nallapati said.