Rodriguez celebrates career-high ranking with end of season award
By MICHAEL CATLING – Squash Mad Reporter
COLOMBIAN number one Miguel Angel Rodriguez was the beneficiary of an early birthday present on Wednesday night, after being named Bogota’s ‘Athlete of the Year’ at an award ceremony in his home town.
Rodriguez, who celebrates his 28th birthday next week, has recently risen to a career-high 13th in the December world rankings and his latest achievement recognises his three trophy hauls earlier this year and a bronze medal at the World Games during the summer.
The diminutive Colombian has enjoyed one of his most successful years to date under the tutelage of former world number one David Palmer and will enter the New Year full of confidence as he looks to break into the top-10 for the first time.
After winning three PSA Tour titles in 2012, Rodriguez continued his rise to prominence by reaching the quarter-finals of the Motor City Open in January.
Two months later, Rodriguez threatened a major scalp against Nick Matthew at the Canary Wharf Classic, before claiming his first tournament success of the year at the Internacional Sporta Open in Guatemala.
In June, Rodriguez made his first appearance for Colombia at the World Team Championship in France and led his country to a best-ever 21st place finish. Later that same month, Rodriguez represented Colombia on home soil and claimed a first-ever bronze medal in squash for his country at the World Games.
Despite a disappointing semi-final exit at the Colombia Open, Rodriguez (pictured left) bounced back by winning the Pan American Championship and the Bluenose Classic after defeating number one seed Daryl Selby in the final.
To date, the Colombian has featured in 31 PSA Tour finals and is the highest-ranked South American of all time.
Elsewhere, Spanish number one Borja Golan also picked up some silverware, after he was awarded the 2013 ‘Sportsman of the Year’ award in his home region of Santiago de Compostela.
The award comes after the 30-year-old attained a career high seventh in the December world rankings and reached his first-ever PSA World Series final at the Hong Kong Open last week.
Golan and Rodriguez will be looking to add to their recent trophy hauls, when they compete in the Tournament of Champions in January.
Proud and happy to be chosen the best sportman in Santiago de Compostela in 2013. I wanna dedicate it to the people that allways support me!
— Borja Golán (@golansquash) December 13, 2013