Wilt­shire cap­tures first US squash ti­tle

Stabroek News Sunday - - SUNDAY SPORT -

Caribbean Un­der 15 and na­tional ju­nior squash cham­pion Shomari Wilt­shire re­cently cap­tured his maiden US squash ti­tle after com­pet­ing in two tour­na­ments in the United States of Amer­ica.

The young squash sen­sa­tion par­tic­i­pated in two ju­nior cham­pi­onships earn­ing his self a well-de­served crown in the process.

The first-week­end Wilt­shire par­tic­i­pated in the Ber­wyn Sum­mer Sil­ver in Penn­syl­va­nia. That tour­na­ment was used as a warm-up for the fol­low­ing week­end where he en­tered in the Boys Un­der 17 cat­e­gory. He won his first match, de­feat­ing Atreyus Bhavsar 11 – 9, 11 – 7, 11 – 1 but then lost to Nolan Geli­nas 10 – 12, 3 – 11, 13 – 11, 6 – 11 in the sec­ond round.

This lost re­sulted in his go­ing into the con­so­la­tion tour­na­ment where he then downed Sean Roundtree in his first match 11 – 2, 11 – 4, 11 – 6. In the next round, he de­feated John Gun­ton 11 – 1, 11 -4, 11 – 3 and then in the semi­fi­nals he de­feated Matthew Wang 11 – 6, 11 – 2, 11 – 2 be­fore los­ing in the fi­nals of the con­so­la­tion draw to Neil Bam in straight games 9 – 11, 4 – 11, 8 – 11.

The Fin­ger Lakes Gold was held in Clin­ton, New York at the Hamil­ton Col­lege. This was a gold tour­na­ment but be­cause Shomari has no US rank­ing he was un­seeded in the Un­der 15 di­vi­sion.

Only the top thirty-two ranked play­ers who have signed up for the tour­na­ment are au­to­mat­i­cally placed in the draw so Wilt­shire was ini­tially wait­listed but even­tu­ally four play­ers with­drew and he was placed in the draw.

In the first round, he de­feated John Zhang 11 -7, 11 – 4, 11 -4 then Erik Wang 4 – 11, 11 – 2, 11 – 9, 11 – 5 in the sec­ond round to set up a clash with the ¾ seed Nathan Fe­in­stein in the quar­ter­fi­nals.

In the quar­ter­fi­nals, he beat Nathan Fe­in­stein in straight games 11 – 8, 11 – 8, 11 -3 and then took care of the No 2 seed Win­ston Park 11 – 8, 11 – 3, 11 – 5 in the semi­fi­nals.

In the fi­nals, he came up against No ¾ seed Rana Thakkar who had up­set the No 1 seed in his semi­fi­nal match. Rana won a close first game 11 – 8 but then Wilt­shire bounced back to take the sec­ond game 11 – 6. In the third game, Rana came out like a boy pos­sessed and com­pletely de­stroyed Wilt­shire in this game win­ning it 11 – 2.

The fourth game went back and forth with Rana hav­ing three match balls but just could not close out the match with Wilt­shire re­ally dig­ging deep to even­tu­ally pre­vail in the fourth game 16 – 14. The fifth game also was a see­saw bat­tle which was close through­out but even­tu­ally, Wilt­shire would pre­vail on his first match ball to take the game 11 – 9 and the match three games to two to win his first US tour­na­ment.

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