Diego dazzles in home triumph
By HOWARD HARDING – Squash Mad International Correspondent
USA’s Amanda Sobhy and Peruvian Diego Elias, both ranked eight in the world, celebrated historic squash success in the XVIII Pan American Games in the Peru capital Lima.
Sobhy suffered a career-threatening Achilles injury two years ago which resulted in a 10-month layoff.
But the 26-year-old from New York, the highest-ranked US-born player of all-time, has bounced back to her best – dismissing world No.19 Blatchford Clyne 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 in 33 minutes in the gold medal playoff at the Villa Deportiva Nacional Videna in Lima.
“Stoked to defend my 2015 PanAm Games gold medal today in the Individual Event,” Sobhy later told her Twitter followers.
Winning their country’s first medals in the Games, Canadians Hollie Naughton and Samantha Cornett claimed the bronze medals.
It was a historic first squash gold medal in the Games for hosts Peru when top seed Diego Elias defeated Colombia’s defending champion Miguel Rodriguez 11-6, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8 in 65 minutes in the men’s final.
The triumph, before a jubilant and packed partisan crowd at the Videna venue (pictured in the Gallery), was revenge for Elias’s defeat in the 2015 final, when former British Open champion Rodriguez won his second successive singles gold medal.
The victory also marked the 22-year-old Peruvian’s first ever win over his 33-year-old regional rival from Bogota – the highest-ranked South American of all-time – in seven meetings since 2014.
Bronze medals went to Mexican Cesar Salazar and Argentina’s 5/8 seed Robertino Pezzota, a 36-year-old from Rosario who was the only player to be making his fifth successive Games appearance since making his debut in 2003 in the Dominican Republic.
XVIII Pan American Games Squash Championships, Lima, Peru.
Men’s Individual Quarter-Finals:
 Diego Elias (PER) bt [5/8] Todd Harrity (USA) 12-10, 11-5, 11-5 (30m)
[3/4] Cesar Salazar (MEX) bt Max Camiruaga (CHI) 11-2, 11-5, 11-4 (19m)
[5/8] Robertino Pezzota (ARG) bt [3/4] Arturo Salazar (MEX) 14-12, 11-5, 5-11, 6-11, 13-11 (65m)
 Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt [5/8] Chris Hanson (USA) 11-5, 11-7, 13-11 (41m)
 Diego Elias (PER) bt [3/4] Cesar Salazar (MEX) 11-1, 11-9, 11-8 (33m)
 Miguel Rodriguez (COL) bt [5/8] Robertino Pezzota (ARG) 9-11, 16-14, 11-6, 11-7 (70m)
 Diego Elias (PER) bt  Miguel Rodriguez (COL) 11-6, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8 (65m)
Women’s Individual Quarter-Finals:
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [5/8] Giselle Delgado (CHI) 11-4, 11-4, 11-3 (29m)
[3/4] Hollie Naughton (CAN) bt [5/8] Antonella Falcione (ARG) 11-5, 11-2, 11-6 (24m)
[3/4] Samantha Cornett (CAN) bt Anita Pinto (CHI) 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 (27m)
 Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) bt [5/8] Diana Garcia (MEX) 11-8, 11-4, 11-4 (21m)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt [3/4] Hollie Naughton (CAN) 11-6, 12-10, 11-8 (27m)
 Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) bt [3/4] Samantha Cornett (CAN) 11-7, 11-5, 11-6 (25m)
 Amanda Sobhy (USA) bt  Olivia Blatchford Clyne (USA) 7-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8 (33m)
Pictures courtesy of WSF