Irish eyes smile at eighth place
LAURA Mylotte made her own piece of history in helping the Ireland team finish eighth at the Women’s World team Squash Championships on Canada.
The 39-year-old, who lives in Heaton Moor, was not only the oldest player to compete in the tournament but also set a record in the ladies’ game, having appeared in the Senior World Team Championships 20 years ago.
However, that piece of history latter
was equalled by American player Natalie Grainger, who also appeared at the same event in Guernsey in 1994.
Mylotte, the marketing and communications manager at Life Leisure, endured an intensive week at the 20-strong competition.
Four matches were played in the first three days’ competition as teams battled it out in pools of five, all looking for a top-two finish to guarantee a quarter-final place. Ireland got off to a great start, beating China, Colombia and New Zealand before losing 3-0 in their final match against tournament favourites Egypt, a side whose three players were all ranked in the world’s top 10.
The last eight saw Ireland beaten 3-0 by the eventual champions, England, meaning they were in the play-offs for the teams seeking to finish between fifth and eighth.
They came up against the USA, who had gone into the tournament ranked sixth – above the Irish – and who took an unassailable 2-0 lead before Mylotte played a dead rubber match.
Defeat saw them face Australia on a final day which began in some controversy.
Ireland’s number one player – and ranked 14th in the world – Madeline Perry was informed halfan-hour before the game that she was not allowed to play due to an issue with a suspected injury – despite having been signed off by a doctor and a physio.
A rejigged Ireland team put up a brave fight with Breanne Flynn and Aisling Blake losing – the latter in the deciding set – to see them finish eighth overall.
“I am really proud to have been part of such a great event and it was a fantastic result for the team,” Mylotte said.
“In 20 years playing the event we have never been treated to such a delightful venue.
“The final play-off against the Aussies was somewhat disappointing, but that is sport.”
(l-r): Breanne Flynn, Laura Mylotte, Aisling Blake and Madeline Perry at the Women’s World Team Squash Championship