SETH Thong held his nerve and delivered a gold medal in front his home crowd, when the Junior Caribbean Area Squash Association Championships continued at the Queen’s Park Indoor Racquet Centre, in St Clair, yesterday.
Thong, ranked number one in the boys Under-13 singles, defeated second seeded Guyanese Mohryan Baksh in a five-set thriller.
Every time Thong took a lead in the match Baksh found a way to respond. Thong won the first game 11-9, before Baksh levelled the contest with an 11-6 win in the second game.
Playing in front his family including his grandfather Victor, a former squash player, Thong took the lead again with an 11-5 win in the third game. Baksh kept on fighting back with a comfortable 11-2 win in the fourth.
In the winner take all fifth game, Thong sealed the contest with a 13-11 win.
Speaking with Newsday after the win, Thong said he wanted a more convincing result. “I don’t feel as good as I thought I was going to feel, because last two years I beat him 3-0 easily and this year I had to go up to five (games) with him, so the Guyanese are training real hard.”
Thong, who said he is ready to step up to the Under-15 age group next year, said he tried to keep his composure during the tense match. “When it was 2-2 I was pretty nervous, because we only had one more game to play and the winner of that (game) will decide who wins, so I was pretty nervous at that time.”
In the semifinals, Thong outlasted Guyanese Louis Dasilva 11-5, 11-5, 11-3 and Baksh got past Jaydon Williams of St Vincent and the Grenadines 11-8, 11-5, 11-4.
Up to press time yesterday, Barbados and Guyana were the top performing teams winning two titles each. In the girls Under-11 round robin, top seeded Barbadian Phoebe Gittens finished ahead of the three other competitors. Seth’s sister Josie Marie took home the bronze medal.
In the boys Under-11 category, top seeded Jayden George of St Vincent clinched the crown with an 11-8, 11-6, 11-6 win over second seeded Owen Roserea of Bermuda.
Eboni Atherley made it another gold medal for Barbados with an 11-6, 11-7, 11-7 win over Jamaican Maher Trehan in the girls Under-13 final.
Guyana swept the Under-15 age group. In the girls final, second ranked Kirsten Gomes came from two games down to defeat first ranked Barbadian Sumairaa Suleman 4-11, 5-11, 11-8, 11-4, 11-8. Her countryman Michael Alphonso, the second seed in the draw, copped the boys Under-15 title with an 11-9, 11-9, 11-6 win over teammate Nicholas Verwey.
Finals in the Under-17 and Under-19 age groups were completed last night. The team competition will take place from today until Saturday.