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Micah Franklin makes it to quarter-finals after five-year absence

Bermuda's contingent at the Senior Caribbean Squash Championship

Micah Franklin performed best of the Bermudian contingent at the Senior Caribbean Squash Championships in Cayman Islands, with his run ended in the quarter-finals by eventual champion Khamal Cumberbatch, of Barbados.

Franklin, 30, went into the tournament as the tenth seed after not playing at the tournament since 2018, and he started well with an 11-3, 11-2, 11-2 victory against Neil McComb from the host nation. He followed up with an 11-4, 11-5, 11-9 success over Guyana’s Jason-Ray Khalil.

“For me, I was going into the tournament with a very low seed because I haven’t played in five years,’’ Franklin said. “However, I still fancied my chances to pull off some upsets and I won my first two matches 3-0.’’

Those two victories meant that Franklin, the head of squash at the Bermuda Squash Racquets Association faced top seed Cumberbatch in the quarter-finals and the pair fought out the best match of the tournament, with 22-year old Cumberbatch triumphing 9-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-13, 11-1 in a 55-minute match

“Even with our rankings being very far apart, I still thought I had a chance to pull off the upset,’’ Franklin said.

“I went into the match giving it everything I had. His 22-year old legs proved better than mine and outlasted me after five gruelling games. My mind and my heart said I could do it, but my body couldn’t last in the fifth game.”

Cumberbatch went on to overcome Cameron Stafford of Cayman Islands 3-2 in the final.

There were early exits for Taylor Carrick, Anaya Smith, Matthew Elliott and Armin de Weerdt, with Carrick perhaps the most disappointed after letting a 2-0 lead slip against Jake Kelly from Cayman Islands.

De Weerdt and Elliot were participating at the Senior Championships for the first time, with Anthony Fellowes, Matthew Elliott, James Dodgson and Peter Drury the other members of the team.

There was also no success for Bermuda in the doubles with Smith and Carrick beaten 2-0 by Jamaica in the first round.

Action got under way on Wednesday in the team event, with Bermuda drawn to play Barbados and Jamaica. The top two from the pool will progress to the semi-finals.

Dodgson and Drury are playing in the veterans’ round robin against Guyana, Jamaica, Cayman, and Barbados.

Bermuda is one of nine countries taking part in the Senior Championships, which started on August 20 and conclude on Saturday.

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Published August 23, 2023 at 9:31 pm (Updated August 23, 2023 at 9:32 pm)

Micah Franklin makes it to quarter-finals after five-year absence

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