Chris Van Der Salm and Abbie Palmer have claimed the 2017 New Zealand Under 23 Championships titles out of the Whangarei Squash Club over the weekend.
In the Women's draw Abbie Palmer played local player Pippa Saunders in round 1 where Palmer took a convincing win 3-0. In the semi-finals Palmer took on another local player Zoe Dykzeul with Palmer looking strong in her win claiming her place in the final with a 3-0 win over Dykzeul. In the final Palmer took on Camden Te Kani-McQueen who had made her way to the final through taking out the 2016 winner Casey Owen 3-1 the previous day. Whilst Te Kani-McQueen fought hard it was not enough for her to claim the title from her experienced opponent and Palmer took the Women's title 3-0.
In the Men's Open defending champion Chris Van Der Salm was too strong for his fellow opponents taking out Flynn Venmore, Apa Fatialofa and Leo Fatialofa 3-0 to make his way to the final to take on long time rival Zac Millar. Millar made his way to the final with a 3-0 win over Quinn Robcke, he then took out Mason Smales 3-1 and in his semi-final he beat Sion Wiggin 3-0. The final was always set to be an exciting affair with Millar and Van Der Salm having faced each other a number of times over the years. It went game for game throughout the match going down to the fifth but it was Van Der Salm who looked calm and composed and took his third Under 23 Championships title in a row.
Congratulations to all competitors and thanks to the Whangarei Squash Club for hosting this event.
Full men’s draws can be found on iSquash here https://www.squash.org.nz/sit/tournament_spa#/tournament/1037011