IOC boss Thomas Bach visits Pan-Am squash in Toronto
By Alan Thatcher, Squash Mad Editor
IOC chief Thomas Bach popped in to watch the squash on the opening day of the Pan-American Games in Toronto.
Bach chatted to several payers, including Canada’s Samantha Cornett, and posed happily for pictures which lit up social media promoting squash’s Olympic hopes.
Not to boast, but Canada’s Sam Cornett scored twice — she made the quarter-final and maybe boosted hopes of squash making the 2020 Olympics.
Cornett (right) beat Guam’s Pamela Anckermann 3-0 to advance to Sunday’s quarter-finals.
Why it matters: Cornett, Canada’s top female squash player, is trying to add a gold medal to the silver she won in 2011 in Guadalajara.
But it’s almost secondary to a bigger goal for her and the rest of the competitors.
Squash is on the short list to be added to the 2020 Summer Olympics and putting on a good event here is important, especially when important spectators come by.
“I just had a cool experience there with the IOC president (Thomas Bach) coming in, which is really special for us because we’re trying to get into the Olympics,” said Cornett, a 24-year-old from Ottawa.
“So, very cool to meet him. And I’m looking forward to hopefully seeing him again. Maybe he’ll come back for the final.”
This followed several squash stars, including world No.4 Miguel Angel Rodriguez of Colombia, carrying their nations’ flags at the opening ceremony on Friday night.
Others included Diego Elias (below), the world junior champion, carrying the flag for Peru and Joe Chapman (British Virgin Islands). The world racquetball champion, Paola Longoria, did the same for Mexico.
Day One shock result: Leandro Romiglio (Argentina) fights back from two games down to beat Arturo Salazar of Mexico 6-11, 10-12, 11-9, 11-3, 11-9.
Round of 16 big clashes to watch out for: Todd Harrity (USA) v Shawn Delierre (Canada) and Chris Gordon (USA) v Diego Elias (Peru).
News from Team USA:
The 2015 Pan American individuals began this morning—the first of the three squash competitions (individuals, doubles, team) that will take place over July 11-17 in Toronto, Canada.
Chris Gordon, American world No. 60 and Queens-native, kicked off the morning session for the Americans with a 3-1 win against Guatemala’s world No. 150 Josue Enriquez.
Gordon and Enriquez had met twice before on the men’s professional tour—both wins for Gordon. The 28-year-old secured his four-game win 4-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-2. Gordon plays again tomorrow at 1:45pm against the winner of Peru’s world No. 43 Diego Elias and Chile’s Jaime Pinto.
Olivia Blatchford, American world No. 38, followed Gordon’s 3-1 win with a success of her own in three against Brazil’s Tatiana Damasio. Blatchford faces Chile’s Anita Pinto tomorrow at 1pm.
Todd Harrity, American world No. 73, plays tonight at 7pm against the winner of Peru’s Alonso Escudero and British Virgin Islands’ world No. 111 Joseph Chapman.
Amanda Sobhy, American world No. 10 and highest ranked player in the Pan American women’s individuals, will play tomorrow morning at 10am against Brazilian world No. 87 Thasia Serafini. Sobhy has won all three of their previous encounters.
Day One results
PICTURE GALLERY FROM TORONTO