By TRAVERTZ MABONE
THE 2010 PNG and Oceania Squash tournaments wrapped up yesterday with Papua New Guinea’s Barbara Stubbings winning both events at the Holiday Inn’s Life Gymnasium in Port Moresby.
Going strong into the PNG women’s open finals, Stubbings had a blistering performance in the matches to secure a place in the playoffs against Australian-based Imong Brooksbank.
Stubbings’ performance was outstanding sealing the victory in the PNG open but her most outstanding win of the day was that of the Oceania title against Australian Challen Stowell.
Stowell took the first set 11-4 with her powerful backhand and smart deliveries that seemed to get the better of Stubbings.
However, Stubbings came back from behind in the second set to nail a similar score line that got her back in the game.
Stowell took the third set and could have sealed the match in the fourth but narrowly missed 11-9 thanks to a very determined Stubbings.
The final was the best game of the weekend and had the crowd on their feet and with the home ground advantage, Stubbings surged to victory fending off an equally strong finish from Stowell.
In the men’s event, PNG and Oceania squash champ, Australian Sunil Seth, similarly took both titles against PNG’s top seed Michael Rucklinger.
Seth wasted no time sealing both victories with in straight set wins.
A very exhausted Rucklinger said that match fitness and fatigue affected his concentration during the final stages.
He said: “It was very hard playing against someone who plays in a regular competition unlike the friendlies that we have here in PNG.
“I’ve been training solo for about four months now and with this competition, I discovered more that needs to be done and when in New Delhi for the Commonwealth Games but I’m sure I can give my opponents a run for their money.”
Seth, on the other hand, commended Rucklinger as a very tough opponent.
However, it was that gaps that Rucklinger created that gave Seth the victory.
Stubbings and Seth walked away with K1,500 from the PNG open while also receiving an A$5000 (K13,000) for winning the Oceania title among five other countries that played which included New Zealand, Australia, Malaysia, Pakistan and hosts PNG.