Record-setting Binnie dispatches rival to lift regional squash crown
Chris Binnie plays a shot during the 37th staging of Senior Caribbean Championship at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston. Binnie defeated Khamal Cumberbatch of Barbados 14-12; 11-5; 11-5 in the final of the Men's Singles.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022, will always be a day to remember for Jamaican squash ace Chris Binnie.

Binnie, Jamaica's and Caribbean's number one player, not only created history by winning a record-setting 10 Senior Caribbean Squash Championships titles, but he was also winning for the first time on home soil after defeating Khamal Cumberbatch in the men's singles final at the 37th edition of the of the event, sponsored by Wisynco through their brand WATA at Liguanea Club in New Kingston on Tuesday evening.

Binnie defeated the Barbadian in straight sets — 14-12; 11-5; 11-5 — to take the crown.

Binnie won his first title in 2009 and then won seven-straight titles between 2011 and 2017. The tournament was not played in 2018, but a year later Binnie won that tile, the last time the championship was held before the novel coronavirus pandemic interrupted proceedings.

He said that he was over the moon to have won his record 10th title on home soil in front a packed venue.

"I mean, it was great. I am ecstatic to have the support of the home crowd, nothing is better than that. Most of these titles I played and won they have been abroad; they have been at other places, so I played other guys in their home country and it was always difficult.

"To have everyone here to get behind me, especially in the first game, which was very difficult, it means the world to me. I was so motivated to pull through, and thankfully, I was able to it," the 33-year-old Binnie told the Jamaica Observer.

It was a slow start for Binnie as the Jamaican fell behind early in the first set trailing 2-6 at one point. However, Binnie settled and produced some beautiful shots which saw the score levelled at an exciting 11-11. The Jamaican prevailed in the end 14-12.

Binnie turned up the heat in the second set as he dominated from start to finish, opening up a 9-4 lead before dispatching his opponent 11-5.

It was smooth sailing for Binnie in the third and final set as he completed the victory with another 11-5 whipping.

Meanwhile, Ashley Khalil from Guyana won the women's singles title after beating her compatriot, Taylor Fernandes, 9-11; 11-5; 11-2; 11-4 in the final.

Khalil, who was winning her first senior title, said she was grateful for the achievement.

"This is my first senior Caribbean title and I am extremely happy and thankful. I am very happy with how I played. I am honoured for the opportunity and I am really happy with how everything turned out. This means a lot to me," she said.

Chris Binnie displays the Jamaican flag after winning his 10th Senior Caribbean Championship at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston on Tuesday night. (Photos: Naphtali Junior)
BY RUDDY ALLEN Observer staff reporter ruddya@jamaicaobserver.com

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