Australian and New Zealand win Squash Open

By Sapeer Mayron ,

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WELL DONE: Paul Wright, organiser of the squash tournament, with men’s final winner Joshua Larkin. Photo / Natalie Burgess.

WELL DONE: Paul Wright, organiser of the squash tournament, with men’s final winner Joshua Larkin. Photo / Natalie Burgess.

Australian Joshua Larkin dominated the men’s final in the 2018 Samoa Squash Open last night to come out victorious over New Zealand’s Jackson Beresford. 

The match at the Tuanaimato Squash Complex attracted a small vocal crowd and was intense from the start with both players testing each other. But Larkin stepped up and took control of the first match, winning 11-6

. The dominance continued in the second match which the Australian wrapped up 11-3, but not before a fight back from Beresford, who came close to nabbing the third match but had to concede defeat with a 11-9 score. Larkin, who has a world ranking of 70 and won back-to-back titles of both the 2015 South Australia Open and City of Perth Open, defeated Beresford 11-6 11-3 11-9 in a dominant performance.

In the women’s final, Samoa’s Claire Heem Mariner went into battle with New Zealand’s Nadine Cull but lost the first match 11-4 as well as the second and third matches 11-8 and 11-7 to concede defeat despite the back of a vocal crowd. Nadine defeated Clare 11-4 11-8 11-7 to become the women’s champion. 

As the finals in the competition got underway yesterday, in a surprise for all, the chair of the Squash Racquets Association Masoe Norman Wetzell was called in at the last minute to cover William Rankin who fell ill. Little did he know that would take him all the way to the men’s doubles final, which he and his partner Jordan Chewlit won.

Masoe said he’s happy with the result, but the organisational demands of the tournament were distracting.

“My mind is racing about all the other things we have to finish to get to the prize giving, to make sure everybody who participated, locally and internationally, had a good time,” he said.

Samoa’s Clare Heem-Mariner battling it out with New Zealand’s Nadine Cull in the women’s final.
Samoa’s Clare Heem-Mariner battling it out with New Zealand’s Nadine Cull in the women’s final.

Tournament organiser Paul Wright said he is happy with how the Open ran this year.

“I was really happy with the entry, and I would quite like to see a few more people coming from overseas, from New Zealand, Australia and a couple of the other islands.

“Fiji brought a huge contingent, so you’ve got to be happy with that don’t you?”

A good team of hard working locals made the competition succeed, he said.

“We’ve got good people who have all done their bit, and the result is a really good event.”

Wright said he hopes Samoa will continue to host the Squash Open at least biannually.   

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