[jbutton size=”large” color=”blue” link=”https://www.ussquash.com/teamusa/2015-pan-ams/” newpage=”yes”]Pan American Games Page[/jbutton]
Todd Harrity, American world No. 73, was the final member of Team USA to compete this evening, facing off against Peru’s Alonso Escudaro in the Pan American Games men’s squash individuals in Toronto, Canada.
In their debut match-up, Harrity controlled each game and bested the Peruvian in three. Harrity plays tomorrow at 12:15pm against Canada’s world No. 58 Shawn Delierre. Harrity and Delierre have played once previously: in April’s Northern Ontario Championship, where Delierre won in four games.
To view complete draws, schedules, and for more information, stay tuned to the official 2015 Pan American Games Team USA Page.
Rich Wade, Team Manager and Director of National Teams and Certifications, reports on day one of match play from Toronto:
After an incredible experience at the Opening Ceremony, Team USA Squash turned their attentions to the competition where there are high hopes of multiple medal opportunities. Day one of the 2015 Pan American Games saw three of the four U.S. players competing in the Individual competition, with only the No. 1 seeded Amanda Sobhy receiving a bye in the First Round. It was a successful beginning to the competition with three wins out of three for Team USA with Chris Gordon, Todd Harrity and Olivia Blatchford coming through their matches.
Chris Gordon, current PSA ranked No. 60, fended off some early nerves after losing the first game, to go on and clinch a 3-1 win 4-11, 11-7, 11-2, 11-2. It was the ideal start to the day with a professional performance from Gordon who after a passive first game, began moving up the court and utilizing his larger physical presence to get on to the volley more and take time away from his opponent. This win moves Gordon into a Quarter Final match against Peru’s Flag Bearer from the Opening Ceremony and PSA world No. 43 Diego Elias.
The second match of the first session saw Olivia Blatchford start her second appearance at the Pan American Games with a 3-0 victory, 11-5, 11-8, 11-2 over her Brazilian counterpart to get through to the quarterfinal stage also. Blatchford showed why she has had a successful season as a member of US Squash’s EAP program and will look to beat Ana Pinto of Chile tomorrow for a place in the medal matches. Blatchford was hitting her typical dying length and creating openings to take the ball which she was doing to good effect as she got used to the glass court.
The day concluded with this year’s U.S. Men’s National Champion, Todd Harrity—who is competing in his first Pan American Games—as he begins his attempt to medal at this year’s games. It was the perfect first match for Harrity, another US Squash EAP athlete, as he was tested through the early and mid-stages of each game, but had enough quality around the middle of the court to pull through 11-3, 11-8, 11-5.
All four players will now compete in the quarterfinal stage, vying for a place in the medal matches, starting Sunday at 10am.
#PanAmSquash on Twitter:
@ToddHarrity Sweet win tonight! Great way to close out a perfect day! @TeamUSASquash #Toronto2015 #PanAmazing 🙂 pic.twitter.com/giIfQhzhJE
— Janet Tiebout Hanson (@janethanson) July 12, 2015
Two for two in the first session, @LivBlatch winning 3-0 in the Round of 16 @USSQUASH @TeamUSA pic.twitter.com/UGaithYrmG
— Team USA Squash (@TeamUSASquash) July 11, 2015
Time to relax after the first day of competition @TO2015 pic.twitter.com/9bfck7R9Te
— Christopher Gordon (@gordosquash) July 12, 2015