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Browne puts up a spirited fight in defeat

Spirited display: Noah Browne

Noah Browne almost pulled off a huge upset against formidable Colombian Miguel Ángel Rodríguez in the squash team event at the Pan American Games yesterday.

Browne produced a superb display to push Rodríguez, a former world No 4, all of the way at the Videna Sports Complex, losing 11-7, 1-11, 3-11, 11-6, 11-8.

Bermuda, who lost their opening pool B match 3-0 against Brazil on Sunday, were also defeated 3-0 by Colombia in their final pool outing.

They take on Argentina in the round of 16 this morning.

Nick Kyme lost the first match against Colombia 11-8, 11-5, 11-4 to González Herrara, while Micah Franklin was beaten 11-8, 11-5, 11-5 by Heredia Vargas.

Rodriguez, who is ranked ninth in the world, looked like he was on the brink of a surprise defeat before ralling in the final two games.

“He’s an incredible player,” Browne, 25, said.

“I’ve actually played him a couple of times before, but have never had that type of result against him.

“I was really pleased with how I played.”

Despite the calibre of his world-class opponent, Browne said he almost felt disappointed not to have claimed such a prized scalp.

“To be frank, I’m almost a bit upset,” he said.

“The thing is, when you’re playing someone like him, you may be up but he has the mental strength and experience to turn it around even when things appear to be going against him.

“He’s not the No 9 in the world for nothing. He can virtually play any shot. I was happy to put him under that kind of pressure.”

Browne, the world No 149, has been suffering from a stomach issue caused by the anti-inflammatory drugs he was taking for a wrist injury.

He struggled during his opening team match against Brazil on Sunday, in which he produced a tired-looking display, losing 11-5, 11-6, 11-7 to Diego Gobbi, but said he felt much stronger after resuming normal eating habits yesterday morning.

“I had a reaction to the anti-inflammatories that I was taking for my wrist injury, which I had prior to the competition,” he said.

“I’ve got over that now and was able to eat real meals again, which clearly made a big difference today. I was getting sick of just eating white rice!”