Bin­nie hop­ing to help grow squash

Jamaica Gleaner - - SPORTS - Lin­coln Craig/Gleaner Writer

JA­MAICA’S LEAD­ING squash player Christo­pher Bin­nie is grate­ful for a sec­ond RJRGLEANER Sports­man of the Year nom­i­na­tion and is hop­ing his con­tin­ued suc­cess can help to bring greater ex­po­sure to his sport.

Bin­nie en­joyed an ex­cit­ing 2018 on the court, cap­ping a his­toric run at the Pan Amer­i­can Squash Cham­pi­onships, where he be­came the first Ja­maican to make the fi­nal, even­tu­ally win­ning the sil­ver medal at the pres­ti­gious re­gional event. He also won in­di­vid­ual bronze at Cen­tral Amer­i­can and Caribbean Games and helped the coun­try to an­other bronze in the team com­pe­ti­tion, to round out an ex­tremely ex­pres­sive cam­paign.

Bin­nie hopes his and the coun­try’s per­for­mances on the in­ter­na­tional stage will help to bring added in­ter­est to the sport and grow squash in Ja­maica.

DO­ING THE RIGHT THING

“Just to be recog­nised again means that I am do­ing the right thing,” Bin­nie told The Gleaner. “You know for squash I think it is great for the sport to get some ex­po­sure and I am hop­ing to con­tinue to do well to help grow the sport in Ja­maica.”

The reign­ing Ja­maican and Caribbean cham­pion is hop­ing to con­tinue his im­prove­ments in 2019 and is de­ter­mined to close the year as a top 50 ranked player in the world.

“I plan to fin­ish in the top 50 in the World Squash Rank­ing and will look to medal again in the Pan Amer­i­can Games next year,” BIn­nie noted.

Mean­while, pres­i­dent of the Ja­maica Squash As­so­ci­a­tion Chris Hind praised Bin­nie’s per­for­mance over the year and pointed to his wider con­tri­bu­tion to the sport through a train­ing clinic.

“He (Bin­nie) has worked re­ally hard this year and is proud to wear the colours of Ja­maica. He ac­tu­ally at one point beat the world num­ber 13 Sau­rav Ghosal at the Com­mon­wealth Games this year and puts on a clinic for the ju­nior squash play­ers,” said Hinds.

The RJRGLEANER Sports­man and Sportswoman of the Year Awards will be held on Fri­day, Jan­uary 18, 2019 at The Ja­maica Pe­ga­sus ho­tel.

RJRGLEANER SPORTS­MAN of the Year nom­i­nee, Fedrick Dacres, is thrilled to be among the nom­i­nees for the cov­eted award and said he knew all along that he could be­come one of the is­land’s finest ath­letes across all dis­ci­plines.

This de­spite the fact that he com­petes in an event – the dis­cus throw, that among Ja­maicans is largely un­der­manned and gen­er­ally un­recog­nised.

“This year has been a re­ally good year. It is my best year and it is go­ing to be hard to top this one, but I am def­i­nitely go­ing to try,” Dacres told The Gleaner.

Dacres, who made a strong claim for the 2018 Sports­man of the Year award af­ter cop­ping four ma­jor ti­tles over the past sea­son, was con­vinced from an early stage of his devel­op­ment, that his tal­ent was enough to even­tu­ally threaten for medals on the global stage for his coun­try. This, he shared, was un­der­lined when he made it to the Sum­mer Youth Olympic Games in the first year that he took up the event, back in 2010.

EYE-OPEN­ING PER­FOR­MANCE

His per­for­mance in Sin­ga­pore served as an eye-opener and a source of great mo­ti­va­tion and played a big role in his devel­op­ment into a global track and field star.

“When I made it to the Youth Olympic Games in my first year, it showed me that I had a lit­tle bit of tal­ent and I was the far­thest thrower from the Caribbean,” Dacres ex­plained. “So be­cause I was able to do that, I started be­liev­ing that I had what it took to turn around Ja­maica’s throw­ing.”

With his train­ing part­ner Traves Smikle, Dacres brought Ja­maica’s dis­cus throw to

DACRES

BIN­NIE

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