Cook Islands Squash team comprising Brian Tapurau, Dylan Robert Russell, Joshua Simeon and Manu Priest and coached and managed by Darryl and Tepua Russell of Pae Moana. SUPPLIED/23121117
The Cook Islands Squash team made their debut at the World Squash Federation Men’s World Team Championship in Tauranga, New Zealand, along with two other teams.
The team is made up of Brian Tapurau, Dylan Robert
Russell, Joshua Simeon and Manu Priest.
Cook Islands Squash president Tutu Inamata said: “Cook
Islands is participating in the Men’s World Team Squash Championship Tournament
at this level for the first time.”
“Participants include renowned players like Egypt’s world
number one squash player, Ali Farag, and New Zealand's number one player, Paul
Coll, who won the Hong Kong Open in November and the New Zealand Open in
Inamata explained that the Cook Islands team comprises young
players from different clubs in New Zealand, including Auckland, Wellington,
Russell is the recent winner of the Raro Open Tournament.
Priest represented the Cook Islands in squash at the Pacific Games in 2019, as
well as Tapurau and Simeon.
Darryl and Tepua Russell of Pae Moana lead the
coaching and management of the team.
In their first match at the Mercury
Baypark Arena, both newcomers Cook Islands and Tahiti went down to Czech
Republic and Germany, while Philippines and Samoa lost out to South Africa and
According to a World Squash report, Tapurau said after
the match that it felt good and the match was also a bit of an eye-opener.
“It’s cool being out on the world stage with everyone.”
On day one on Sunday (Cook Islands time), Czech Republic
defeated Cook Islands 3-0. The national team faces USA today.
Inamata said the team expects a tough match against the
“They’re enjoying the high skill level and overall
experience,” he said.
Meanwhile, hosts New Zealand got off to an exciting start
with a hard-fought 3-0 win over Republic of Korea.
Australia and Malaysia came from behind to avoid upsets
to the Netherlands and Ireland, respectively.
Australia defeated Netherlands 2-1 and Malaysia defeated
Ireland 2-1. Nigeria defeated Japan 3-0, Canada defeated Samoa 3-0 and Germany
took on Tahiti winning 3-0.
The tournament ends on December 17.
Czech Republic 3-0 Cook Islands (Viktor Byrtus 3-0 Dylan
Russell: 11-2, 12-10, 11-1 (20m) Daniel Mekbib 3-0 Brian
Tapurau: 11-3, 11-3, 11-3 (15m) Jakub Solnicky 3-0 Manu Priest
11-1, 11-0, 11-1 (14m))