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Browne and Franklin can be ‘dark horses’ in doubles

Soaking up the atmosphere: Nick Kyme, left, Noah Browne and Micah Franklin enjoy the moment during the Flag Raising Ceremony at the Athletes’ Village yesterday

Noah Browne and Micah Franklin will renew their successful doubles partnership this afternoon when they play Chile in the men’s doubles first round.

Browne and Franklin believe they could be a “dark horse” and find their way onto the podium if they recapture the form they showed at the Central American and Caribbean Games last summer.

The pair claimed bronze in Cali, Colombia, and almost pulled off an upset by defeating Mexican twins Arturo and César Salazar, who are the No 1 seeded team in Lima.

Although the Pan American Games are a step up from anything they have previously experienced together, Browne is adamant that “anything is possible”.

He said: “I’m most focused on the doubles. Micah and I have had some good results in the past, winning bronze at the CAC Games, and we would really like to get another medal.

“I genuinely think anything is possible. At the CAC Games we nearly ran away with it against the Mexicans, who are the No 1 seeds.

“I will be happy just to play well; however, you always have to shoot for the highest thing and we certainly won’t go down without a fight.”

Both players bring “different pieces of the puzzle”, according to Browne, who feels his riskier style meshes perfectly with Franklin’s more efficient and metronomic approach.

“We definitely complement each other and can be dangerous because of our different styles,” the 25-year-old said.

“I’d describe myself as more of an attacker and someone who will control that middle area of the court and keep my opponent behind as much as possible.

“Micah is a little bit steadier than me and is stronger in the body. He never gets tired and is someone who will keep those basic shots going. That’s super helpful to have as a partner, especially if I’m going to be the one that’s taking more risks.”

Just two months ago, Browne injured his wrist after falling awkwardly during a game and is still wearing a support bandage. He admits his preparations have been hindered by the injury but “counts his lucky stars” it recovered in time for Lima.

“I just landed wrongly on my wrist and that’s all it takes,” said Browne, who faces Chilean Pizarro Camiruaga in the first round of the singles this morning.

“It was unfortunate because although it hindered my preparations, it happened far enough in advance that I was able to return and start playing a couple of weeks ago.

I’ve really been focusing on strengthening my legs and getting ready in that way.”

Browne, who is ranked 148th on the Professional Squash Association Tour, hopes the Pan Am Games will be the first of many major multi-sport events that he will enjoy in his career.

He admires the longevity of team-mate Nick Kyme, a veteran of five Commonwealth Games, and plans to continue Bermuda squash’s tradition of competing on the international stage for years to come.

“Nick is one of the most experienced guys Bermuda has in any sport,” said Browne, who is based in Port Chester in Westchester County, New York. “I’m always happy to have him around and it makes a big difference for me.

“Micah is also experienced and it helps to have two guys who really know the ropes. Hopefully I can be one of those people going forward.

“I’m looking to take this as far as I can and want to go to every Commonwealth Games that I possibly can until my body gives out.”

Franklin is also in action in the singles this morning against Aguilar Abrego, of El Salvador.