Four VI players compete at Pan Am Squash Championships

By BVI Squash Rackets Association

The VI National Squash Team at the 2018 Pan American Squash Championships, August 26 – September 1. Photo: PanAm Squash

Friday 24th August saw the Virgin Islands National Men’s Squash Team head to the Cayman Islands to compete in the Pan American Squash Championships. The team consisted of four members : Joe Chapman, Mike Adamson, Neville Sorrentino and Dion Anselm. The 4 team members were accompanied by Head Squash Coach, Adam Murrills.

First up was the individual event. With the majority of the players here being full time professional squash players, there were going to be some tough match ups.

Adamson, Sorrentino and Anselm all competed valiantly but fell to highly World Ranked players from Canada, Cayman Islands and Bermuda.

Chapman however reached the last 32 of the draw after convincingly winning his first match 3-0. He then faced no.1 seed and World No.11, Diego Elias. Chapman fought well but Elias’s extreme class proved too much for him. Elias then went on to win the gold medal with relative ease.

The doubles event followed with Chapman and Sorrentino representing the VI. They were pitted against Bermuda who had 2 players ranked inside the top 150 in the world as their doubles’ pair. It was a fast paced affair with lots of winners and attacking flair. With 2 current full time professionals they had the extra consistency and quality required to win the important points at the back end of the games. A close match finished 2-0 to Bermuda.

The climax of the week was the team event in which countries were competing to gain qualification for the huge multi sport event that is the Pan American Games to be held in Lima, Peru in 2019.

The team event was played in a 3 man team format. The team is ordered 1-3 who then play off against the opposing team’s matching number. The VI came up against Colombia, Bermuda, Paraguay and Guyana. While the VI did not produce a team win, Chapman managed to get 2 wins against the opposing no.1s from both Paraguay and Guyana. Despite the loss, the VI team players performed very well and showed great improvement after a short training camp in the run up to the event.

“The event as a whole was hugely enjoyable and a massive learning experience for all of us involved,” said Adam Murrills, Head Squash Coach, BVISRA. “Being exposed to some of the very best squash players in the world was a real eye opener and getting to not only watch but compete against them has definitely opened our players’ minds as to different styles of play and what is really possible on the court!”

Harneys BVI Squash Championships 2018 underway

By BVI Squash Racket Association

18-year old Jesus Camacho (Mexico), beat PSA World ranked #82 Adam Murrills, (England), 3-1 to win the 2016 PSA British Virgin Islands Open Championships.

The Professional Squash Association (PSA) World Tour returns to the BVI as the Harneys BVI Squash Championships 2018 and gets underway at the Tortola Sports Club in Pasea Estate from Tuesday, February 20 to Saturday, February 24, 2018.

Professional Squash players from USA, England, the Cayman Islands, Mexico, Guatemala and Liberia will mix it up on court with home-grown entries. 

Local squash players, Neville Sorrentino, Dion Anselm, Jonathan Addo, Joe Chapman and Mike Adamson will be competing against the accomplished international players.

Last year’s runner up Adam Murrills from England, seeded in the #2 slot, will be looking to take this year’s trophy but faces tough competition from the #1 seed, USA’s Christopher Gordon. Matches will be toughly contested with $5,000 in total prize money up for grabs.

Last year’s final was 63 minutes of thrilling squash when 18-year-old, Mexican Jesus Camacho took on seasoned England campaigner, Adam Murrills with both players delighting the crowd with intense squash for over an hour.

Game 1 was neck and neck throughout with Jesus saving match ball at 10-9 then taking the next three points to win game 1. Adam came out aggressively in game 2 and marched out quickly to an 8-0 lead. Jesus conserved his energy, only trying to hit winners, and Adam squared the match easily winning game 2 by 11-1.

Another momentum change at the start of game 3, as Jesus quickened the pace dramatically putting extreme pressure on Adam for the first time in the match. The smoothness from Adam’s game was gone as he had less time on every shot and Jesus had taken game 3 by 11-3 in double quick time. Adam regrouped for game 4 and it was neck and neck throughout. Adam was hitting some grand winners including an overhead backhand crosscourt into the nick but it came at a cost as a few errors were creeping into his game.

With all to play for at 8-9, Jesus sharpened his concentration and quickened the pace once more to take the last two points and the championship by three games to one. The crowd roared its approval at the vintage gladiatorial spectacle as the players were clearly physically and emotionally drained.

Jesus Camacho, current champion said at the time,“My first PSA win. I must tell my family. I am so happy! Thank you!”

Adam Murrills, runner up said, “I gave it my best shot today but Jesus keeps it so fast and tight and doesn’t make many mistakes. A tough loss today but congratulations to the youngster. But what a great tournament and a fabulous country! I’ve lost count of the number of times I have visited the BVI and its always extraordinary.”

Mark Chapman, BVI Squash President said, “Without doubt, whether you know Squash or not, this will truly be amongst the best in the sport ever seen in the BVI. Our thanks to our platinum sponsor, Harneys, who have joined us this year and also to Deloitte and National Bank of the Virgin Islands who have been our sponsors since inception in 2012.”