Day 2 of the 17th Asian Games turned out to be very bright for Indian squash as the country’s top two players, Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal booked their berths in the semi-finals and assured themselves of a medal each. The women’s singles medal is of increased significance as this is the first time ever India will be winning a medal in this particular category since the sport was introduced in 1998.
Hat Trick of Medals for Saurav Ghosal
As for Saurav, this would be his third consecutive medal in men’s singles at the Asian Games.
The top seed in men’s singles, Saurav had it easy except for a minor hiccup midway through the match. Saurav stamped his class in the first game 11-6 against Pakistani Iqbal Nasir but his determined opponent came back to take the next game 11-9. Since then it smooth sailing for the India No. 1 who finished 11-6, 9-11, 11-2, 11-9.
Close Quarterfinal between Friends and Doubles Partners
The women’s quarter-final match between Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa however was the cynosure of all eyes at the Yeorumul Squash Courts. There was much hue and cry over the draw right before the Asiad as the country’s top two girls were supposed to be pitted against each other in the quarter-finals.
It turned out to be quite an exciting contest. The girls who know each other’s games very well, fought tooth and nail to take it to the decider. Joshna started off well clinching the opening game 11-7 in just 9 minutes before Dipika came back to take the next 11-9.
Dipika Pallikal then edged ahead by taking a 2 games to 1 lead before the match reached its climax in the 4th game. Joshna had game points before Dipika inched ahead. Eventually in a nail biting up and down affair Joshna finally sealed the game 17-15.
In the deciding game, Dipika raced ahead first before Joshna made a comeback. Finally Dipika was able to stall her teammate’s momentum to clinch the tie 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 15-17, 11-9.
Birthday Win for Dipika
The win would be even sweeter for Dipika as it is her 23rd birthday today. Happy Birthday Dipika and here’s wishing you have a golden celebration shortly !
Follow Sports Rediscovered to view the progress of Dipika and Saurav Ghosal at the Asian Games