Jamaica’s top-ranked squash player, Chris Binnie is on his way to joining the global elite of the sport. The Jamaica and Caribbean men’s squash champion for the last seven years, Binnie, 27, has also improved his Professional Squash Association (PSA) ranking to number 89 among the world’s best players as of this month, from 93 in March. This improvement came after he signed a one-year sponsorship agreement with JN Fund Managers Limited at the firm’s New Kingston office recently. “My goal is to be ranked as one of the top 50 players by December,” he said. “I believe I can do it.” The top 50 players form an elite of the sport, travelling the world to compete in the main events. Having a better ranking means the players get better placed in competitions and also have more options in choosing the competitions they find more attractive. Binnie has come a long way since April of 2012 when he had PSA ranking of 389. He progressed to a ranking of 131 by October 2013 joined the top 100 in November last year. Binnie’s optimism is also based on the success he is having with his new coach, Australian Rodney Martin, a former winner of the World Open Squash Championship who once ranked second in the world. Along with three other teammates, he has been going through a tough training programme to improve his overall match preparedness level, with his new coach. He said the sponsorship by JN Fund Managers would also help him achieve his goal. Based in Connecticut in the United States of America, he coaches at Trinity College in Hartford, and had been limited to playing matches mainly in North America. “This sponsorship allows me to go to more tournaments and select ones in Europe and Asia,” he said. “I need to take on the best players in the most competitive tournaments globally if I am to improve. And it requires funding to get to the matches and maintain myself while competing.” Brando Hayden, general manager of JN Fund Managers, said: “We admire what Chris Binnie has done for himself and for Jamaica. He has invested his time and talents, making him one of the top 100 squash players in the world. “We want to help him fulfil his dreams because his success will also pave the way for others,” Hayden said. Binnie himself launched the Jamaica Squash Association’s Grassroots Clinic to students of Papine High School and New Providence Primary School on March 20. And the programme at the University of Technology is noteworthy for the players who have emerged from that facility.
It was a stellar day for Indian archery at the World Cup Stage IV with a haul of a gold, a silver and a bronze medal in Shanghai on Saturday.While the women’s recurve team of Deepika Kumari, Laishram Bombayla Devi and Chekrovolu Swuro put it across Italy in the final, Deepika secured a bronze in the individual event after beating Erwina Safitri of Indonesia.In another heartening result, the compound team of Jignas Chittibomma, Chinnaraju Srither and Kh. Ratan Singh finished with a silver medal after losing to powerhouses United States in the final.It is the first medal ever for the Indian men’s compound team in a World Cup. The Indian women’s recurve team exacted revenge for the disappointment suffered at the Turin world championships, where the Italians reigned supreme on home turf.Jignas Chittibomma was part of the Indian men’s compound team.The Indian trio took an early lead after six arrows when the team of Pia Carmen Lionetti, Guendalina Sartori and Natalia Valeeva got off to a bad start.India led 52-47 after the first end.In the second, India were marginally better than their opponents but put the issue beyond doubt with a dominant 57-51 edge in the third end with three 10s in a row. It meant that even though the Italians took the fourth end 54-53, they could not prevent India from sealing a comprehensive 215-204 triumph.In all, the Indians had seven perfect 10s to five for the Italians.Mexico bagged the bronze medal with a 216-207 win over Russia.advertisementThe women’s individual bronze medal match, soon after the team final, was a contest between two teenagers as the 17-year-old Deepika upstaged Safitri, who is a year older to her, 6-4.It was a rematch of the quarter- final at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games where the Indian prevailed 7-3.However, Saturday’s match was not an easy affair as Deepika had to recover from an early deficit and the contest was decided by the final arrow in the fifth set.The Indonesian had an impressive 8-10-10 start to an 8-9-8 from Deepika to take the first set 28-25. But the Indian quickly recovered and took the next two sets 28-26 and 26-24.However, Safitri forced a decider taking the fourth set with a 29- 26 result, aided by two perfect 10s.In the fifth set, Deepika edged ahead 9- 8 after the first arrow.The contest rested on a knife’s edge when both archers scored 10 in the second arrow.The Indian let the door ajar with an eight on her final attempt and the Indonesian could have won the contest with a 10.However, pressure got to her and she could only manage seven and the medal went to the more consistent Deepika.The Indian had only two perfect 10s as against six from the Indonesian. Deepika got out of the yellow zone just five times while Safitri did so on eight occasions. Russia’s Inna Stepanova won the gold medal beating Berengere Schuh 6-4.In the men’s compound event, the Indians went down 235-229 to Americans Braden Gellenthien, Reo Wilde and Rodger Willett Junior. It was the first match between the two teams in the event. The Indians were at par with their opponents in the second and third ends but the lead they conceded at the start and the end proved crucial. The six straight 10s the Americans scored in the first end was the highlight. Mexico defeated Australia 234-231 for the bronze.The women’s compound team of Jhano Hansdah, Gagandeep Kaur and Namita Yadav missed out on a medal when they went down 217- 219 to the Philippines in the bronze medal match.The men’s recurve team of Atanu Das, Thupuvoyi Swuro and Jayanta Talukdar finished seventh.