Squash ace Cameron Stafford has been in outstanding form and climbing rapidly up the world rankings despite his novice status.
The 20-year-old Caymanian last week competed in tournaments in Japan and Australia and acquitted himself well. In Kobe City, Japan, Stafford played in the Kansai Open 2011 playing qualifying rounds to qualify for the main draw. Stafford said: “My first match I played local player Naoki Hayashi. I won 3-0 (11-6,11-3,11-3 in 14 minutes. My second match I played my good friend Will John ranked 320 in the world from Wales. I won 3-1 (11-5,7-11,11-6,11-7) in 48 minutes for a place in the main draw.
“The next day I played James Skiffington, ranked 251 in the world and he was the number 6 seed from New Zealand. I won 3-0 (11-7,11-7,11-3) in 25 minutes for a place in the quarter-finals.
“My next match was the big one. I played Chris Fuller ranked 131 in the world from England and lost 3-0 (11-5,11-3,11-3) in 27 mins. I was mentally tired coming through the qualification draw.
“My next tournament was in Brisbane for the Caboolture Open. I won my first match 3-0 and lost 3-1 to Chris Lloyd of New Zealand, the number 5 seed in the next match. After my two tournaments I’ve decided to stay and live in Brisbane for a month to train with Marc Forster, the Australian coach and some of the world’s best.
“I would like to thank coach Glenn Stark and Mark Chaloner and Dean Watson for helping me prepare for these tournaments. Also to the Cayman Islands Government and the Cayman Islands National Squash Association for helping me chase my dream in becoming a top class athlete.
“I’m also grateful to Stuart Walkers Hersant for funding this trip. I’m really pleased that my current ranking is 343 in the world.”