OTTAWA, ON (August 2, 2019) – The 2019 Pan Am Games may still be in progress in Lima, Peru until August 11th but the squash competition that was run from July 25-31 has ended. Canada sent a full compliment of six star-studded athletes to the event with goals and aspirations of becoming champions.
Squash Canada’s team may have not captured any Gold Medals but were golden in their approach as they set a Canadian Pan American Games record by capturing seven medals in total. Canada has won six medals on multiple occasions in the past (1995, 2003, 2011, 2015), but had never reached this milestone medal haul achieved in 2019.
In addition, the squad captured the hearts of not only the Nation’s squash community, but all of Canada. The team left an indelible impression on Her Excellency the Right Honourable Governor General of Canada Julie Payette, who came to cheer them on for three days straight. As an added accomplishment, Hollie Naughton and Sam Cornett, flying solo in the Women’s Individual Competition, were Canada’s first medalists at the 2019 Pan Am Games in any sporting event. This amazing accomplishment provided squash a unique opportunity to be showcased nationally across Canada that may not have happened otherwise.
Martin Heath, head coach of the team was happy with the success and spirit of our athletes. “All Team Canada squash players played above seedings and expectations, and all players achieved at least two medals, scoring at least a bronze in every event,” said Martin. “The success is a testament to the great personalities and team spirit that has been prevalent through our training and competition, with commitment, focus belief and the spirit of fun defining our efforts.”
Squash Canada’s Team proved to be fierce competitors against their international opponents, having won a medal in six out of seven events. The breakdown of Team Canada’s Medals:
• Women’s Teams: Silver (Sam Cornett, Hollie Naughton & Danielle Letourneau)
• Men’s Teams: Bronze (Nick Sachvie, Shawn Delierre & Andrew Schnell)
• Women’s Doubles: Silver (Sam Cornett & Danielle Letourneau)
• Men’s Doubles: Silver (Nick Sachvie & Shawn Delierre)
• Mixed Doubles: Bronze (Hollie Naughton & Andrew Schnell)
• Women’s Individuals: Two Bronze (Sam Cornett & Hollie Naughton)
For most of the squad members, Lima 2019 was not their first rodeo. Shawn Delierre is Pan Am Games veteran, having competed in four consecutive games since 2007 and accumulating a total of eight medals. The highlight to date, being the Gold Medal performance by the Canadian Men’s team on home soil at Toronto 2015.
Sam Cornett and Andrew Schnell are also decorated team members who will be adding this years’ hardware to their collection. Cornett has earned a total of eight medals, and Schnell a total of five, both over the course of three Pan Am Games.
Hollie Naughton made her return to the Pan Am Games, after participating in Toronto 2015, where the Canadian Women’s Team finished with a Silver Medal. Naughton’s experience has paved the way for further success by winning three medals at Lima 2019, and bringing her to a total of four medals earned at the Pan Am Games.
Nick Sachvie and Danielle Letourneau both made their Pan Am Games debut in Lima, and their success was undeniable. The two athletes both earned Canada a medal in the Doubles and Teams Competition, proving to be valuable additions to the squad.
“I had such an incredible experience at the games,” said Letourneau. “It was such a great environment and I met a lot of great people. I’m really proud of our team and the effort that we put into each match. It’s a great feeling that our team came away with a record-breaking number of medals for squash. We had our moments at gold, which is disappointing because we know we could have won it, but also encouraging because we are closer than ever before. I believe we will get there next time.”
Team Canada’s line up for Squash was made up of both rookies and veterans, showing to be a talented and harmonious combination at Lima 2019. Moving forward, the 2023 Pan Am Games will be in Santiago, Chile, where squash will once again attempt to showcase why it’s one of the most underrated sports in the world. Whomever represents Canada will get to participate in the pinnacle sporting event for squash.
“It’s a privilege to be involved in the team and in this campaign for me personally, and I’d like to say a special thanks to Graeme Williams and Tim Marshall that were key staff members in the team’s success,” said Head Coach, Martin Heath. “Graeme will be moving on to greener pastures and has been incredibly valuable as a coach and mentor to the athletes. This is also likely to be Andrew Schnell’s final event in a storied career, and we would all like to congratulate him on his stellar career and wish him good luck as he moves on to other challenges.”
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