Jamaican squash star Chris Binnie capped off a history-making run at the 2018 Pan American Squash Championships with a silver medal in the men’s singles competition on Wednesday night. The Jamaican and Caribbean number one fought hard but went down 7-11, 8-11, 5-11 to the top seed, Diego, Elias of Peru, in front of a packed house at the South Sound Squash Club in the Cayman Islands. However, with the second-place finish, Binnie continued his rewrite of the record books by becoming the first Jamaican to make the finals at the prestigious tournament. His journey to the silver medal was marked by upsets as he created a stir when he dispatched the defending champion, Robertino Pezzota of Argentina, 11-3, 11-4, 6-11, 11-2 in the quarter-finals. The eight-time national and regional champion also stormed back from 0-2 down to beat the higher-ranked Chris Hanson of the United States – 3-12, 5-11, 14-12, 11-1, 11-8 – in the semi-finals. “It has been an amazing tournament all around, and I appreciate the support I have been getting from everyone at home in Jamaica and the Caribbean squash fraternity, who have been in my corner for all the crucial matches,” Binnie said. “All the hard work I’ve been putting in is definitely paying off, and I’ve been able to compete with some of the best players in the world because I’ve played my best squash when it’s mattered the most,” he added. Next up is the Team Competition, which started yesterday and will end tomorrow. Binnie will be joined by top senior national players Lewis Walters, Bruce Burrowes, and Julian Morrison as Jamaica tries to qualify for a spot in the 2019 Pan Am Games, scheduled for next July in Lima, Peru.
It’s a problem which has left “los blancos” the main victims of what the Spanish press have dubbed the “FIFA virus”.Despite the draw against Barcelona at Camp Nou two weeks ago, Madrid still have an eight-point gap to make up on their Catalan rivals, a task made even more difficult by the loss of so many key defenders.Right-backs Alvaro Arbeloa, injured in Spain’s 1-1 draw with France, and Fabio Coentrao are unavailable for a number of weeks while left-back Marcelo is expected to be out for three months after breaking his foot in a Brazil training session.Midfielder Sami Khedira and forwards Karim Benzema and Gonzalo Higuain picked up knocks with their national sides and all could be rested ahead of an important Champions League tie at Borussia Dortmund next Wednesday.Mourinho will have to be creative to fill the full-back berths.Michael Essien has experience on the right while Sergio Ramos could also be used there with Raphael Varane or Raul Albiol coming into the centre of defence.Even using Varane is in doubt after the youngster picked up a muscle injury while playing for the French Under-21 side.Youngster Nacho Fernandez could make his first start of the season at left-back.Leaders Barcelona have few worries as they go to Deportivo La Coruna on the same evening, looking to make it four wins from four on the road.One player unaffected by the international break was midfielder Andres Iniesta.“I didn’t play the full 90 minutes of the two matches with Spain so I’m in good shape, my (groin) injury is forgotten and we all hope to be fit for the Depor game which will be complicated especially after the break,” he said.“There’s a long way to go, all sides go out to win games, particularly Madrid who are the current champions and they will want to win the title again so we can’t take the points for granted,” he said.“Also we have to concede that at the moment Atletico Madrid are our closest rivals.”On Sunday, Atletico face a tough away game at Real Sociedad who have won their three home games to date this season.Atletico are level with points with Barca at the top and eight ahead of city rivals Real.But their Turkish midfielder Arda Turan is another victim of the international break and will miss Sunday’s game along with Diego Costa who has a troubled knee.Raul Garcia is the likely replacement for Turan while Atletico will look to the rich goalscoring form of Gustavo Falcao to continue a run of nine straight victories in all competitions since the opening day 1-1 draw at Levante.SaturdayMalaga v Valladolid (1400 GMT), Real Madrid v Celta (1600 GMT), Valencia v Athletic Bilbao (1800 GMT), Deportivo v Barcelona (2000 GMT)SundayGetafe v Levante (1000 GMT), Espanyol v Rayo Vallecano (1400 GMT), Granada v Zaragoza (1600 GMT), Osasuna v Betis (1750 GMT), Real Sociedad v Atletico Madrid (1930 GMT)MondaySevilla v Mallorca (1930 GMT)0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000MADRID, Spain, October 19 – Real Madrid are battling an injury crisis ahead of their home clash with Celta Vigo on Saturday as World Cup duty threatens the team’s La Liga pursuit of bitter rivals Barcelona.Madrid coach Jose Mourinho faces the loss of up to seven of the 19 players who went off on international duty after the vital 2-2 draw with Barcelona in their last league game.