In a huge tournament with tons of pressure, a local fifth grader performed brilliantly.
Nina Nital, a student at Tarrytown's Hackley School, was America's number one seed in her age group, competing in mid-December at Yale University's junior squash tournament. She ultimately lost to Egypt, but not without a battle.
"Almost 2,000 matches were played involving nearly 900 players representing twenty-four countries at four venues—Yale University, Wesleyan University, Choate Rosemary Hall and The Hopkins School—across U11, U13, U15, U17 and U19 age divisions making the U.S. Junior Open the world’s largest individual junior tournament," reports US Squash.
In five close, and fast, games, she was defeated by Egyptian Sana Mohamed. American Rohan Iyer, the other number one see in the U11 division, defeated Mexican Sosa Federico after recovering from being down the first two games.
Squash is fast-paced, as has been Nital's learning curve. She's only been at the game for three years, after years of playing tennis. At this rate, the Olympics is a dream for far off in the future, if squash can get in the Olympics itself.
Squash was one of three sports shortlisted for the 2020 Olympic games. Played in 185 countries, "it's an up and coming racquet sport," says Nital's mother Renu, and it's time in the international spotlight will surely come.
Nital was at the age of 10 beating out kids nearly two years older than her. She is ranked 12 in the under-13 division in the U.S.
Read the full tournament report in US Squash here.