The Corio Leisuretime Centre in Geelong was the setting for an Easter gathering of the best young squash players in Australia. Throw in a few players from the Oceania region and the event, registered on the World Squash Federation Junior Squash Circuit, was always going to be a competitive affair.
Victoria’s Sam Ejtemai capped off a brilliant tournament in which he didn’t drop a match by winning the boys’ U19 final blue riband event. Ejtemai is seen as an important cog in the wheel of the future of squash in Australia and did nothing to damage that reputation in Geelong, winning the title 11-5, 11-8, 11-5 from a gallant Scott Galloway from New Zealand.
An impressive display from second seed Lakeesha Rarere (QLD) in the girls’ U19, finished off four days of top-class squash with a victory over top seed Eloise O’Connor (WA) in Monday’s final. Their match was one befitting an Australian Open. Both girls strode on to the Geelong court with purpose and poise and after two games it was impossible to pick a winner. But then the Queenslander gradually took control, picking up the next two games and the title 11-8, 9-11, 11-8, 11-3.
In every other age group it was the top seeds who prevailed, and mostly with a fair degree of comfort. Yes there were some minor heart flutters, but generally these players are all number one for a reason.
Host State Victoria had two titles to celebrate. Along with Ejtemai in the U19 boys, at the other end of the age scale, Eishaanii Sukunesan won the U11 girls title against NSW’s Sydney Johnson.
The future of squash was on display in Geelong and it seems to be in very good hands. The finals were webcast live and replays will be available through event partner My Sport Live at www.mysportlive.com.au