January 23, 2022

Back to back wins for Cayman Islands at CAC Games

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Cayman’s squash team sees back to back wins at the 23rd Central American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla, Columbia.

One day after winning bronze medals in the Women’s Doubles division and the Mixed Doubles division, Cayman’s squash team returned to the courts for the latest round of games.

In the Men’s qualifiers, playing out of Pool C, Cayman went up against Trinidad and Tobago. First up on the court was Jacob Kelly, who won three out of five rounds against his Trinidad and Tobago opponent. Kelly won the first match 15-13 but would go on to lose the second match 3-11. He bounced back in the third round claiming an 11-8 victory, only to be shut out in the fourth match with a 0-11 defeat. In the fifth and final, match Kelly walked away with an11-5 win, to give Cayman its first win in the qualifiers.

Next on the court was Cameron Stafford, who would go on to win all three matches. His final scores were 11-5, 12-10, and 11-6. The last men’s competitor in Pool C was Julian Jervis who also won his three games to help secure Cayman’s spot in their group. His final scores were 11-4, 11-5, and 11-8.

In the Women’s Singles qualifiers, Cayman’s Women were selected to play Guatemala in Pool A. Eilidh Bridgeman took to the court first. She lost her opening match 5-11 but rallied back and claimed her following three matches 11-8, 11-6, and 11-7. Marlene West, Cayman’s next player, lost her opening match as well. West lost 2-11. Although she was able to win the second match, 11-6, she lost the third and fourth matches, 8-11 and 7-11. Cayman’s third and final female competitor in the qualifiers was Jade Pitcairn; who like the two women before her also lost her first match to her Guatemalan counterpart. Despite the 7-11 defeat, Pitcairn was able to reassert her dominance in the game and went on to secure the remaining three games 11-9, 11-3, and 11-5.

When the men returned to the courts, they went up against Guatemala, a side that proved very difficult. Playing in the same order, Jacob Kelly took to the court first. Despite a valiant effort, Kelly lost all three matches 4-11, 8-11, and 9-11. Cameron Stafford was next up who would also face an equally tough opponent. Stafford lost his opening match 5-11; but not being one to go down without a fight, Stafford dug deep and found the strength to claim to the second and third matches, 11-9 and 11-7. Despite his best efforts, he would still go on to lose the remaining two games, 9-11 and 13-15. Julian Jervis, Cayman’s third and final men’s qualifier, was able to win all three games, 11-6, 11-7, and 11-4. However, Kelly and Stafford’s loss means they will not advance out of the qualifying stages.

In the women’s second set of qualifiers, they played against Trinidad and Tobago. Eilidh Bridgeman got the ball rolling for Cayman. Bridgeman won her first match 12-10 but went on to lose her second match 9-11. The back forth continued right up to the fifth round, with Bridgeman claiming the third game11-7, only to lose the fourth 5-11. Then in the final round, she managed to overpower her opponent 12-10. To give the Women’s qualifying team the one up advantage. Marlene West was next on the court and would go on to secure the Women’s position with three straight wins, 11-5, 11-8, and 11-7. Finally, on the court was Jade Pitcairn who would go on to seal the women’s victory with three out of five wins. Pitcairn took the first two games 11-9 and 11-5 but when on to lose the third and fourth games 6-11 and 3-11. In the tie-breaker, she managed to clinch an 11-7 victory.

Off the coast of Puerto Valero, Cayman’s Allena Rankine continue to face troubled waters. Competing in the women’s Single Handed Laser division, 18-year-old Rankine finished the competition in 10th with 81 points accumulated over 9 races.

Rankine says the CAC games was a new experience for her, and she is grateful to have been able to compete against some of the world best Women’s Single Handed Laser sailors.

“I kind of didn’t know what to expect because I’ve never sailed at this ability level before or with people that have sailed in the Olympics before. So, I think I did pretty well being that I wasn’t too far behind them,” said Rankine.

Cayman’s final sailing event is the Open Hobie 16, with Florence Allen and Alun Davies, which is expected to wrap up on Wednesday afternoon.

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