Saurav Ghosal Comes Back Strong as India Reach Final In Men’s And Women’s Team Squash Events


Saurav Ghosal (left) after his match in the men’s team event (Photo credits: SRFI)

Revenge is always sweet and even more so if it gives you a magnificent opportunity to win a gold medal! Saurav Ghosal, the Asia No. 1 and World No. 16 can vouch for that.
It was a painful, heart-breaking loss in the singles gold medal match just a few days ago at the Yeorumul Squash Courts Complex which left the India No. 1 absolutely shattered. All hopes were pinned on him to deliver India’s second gold at the 17th Asian Games at Incheon but destiny had a cruel twist for him.
But fast forward to the men’s team event semi-final and Saurav can now put the crushing loss behind. He beat the very same opponent, Abdullah Almezayen in an almost identical way – in five gruelling games (11-8, 7-11, 11-9, 5-11, 11-3) to take his team into the final and get another shot at a gold medal.
India had never been to the final of any squash event before the Incheon Games. And now they are in three finals at this Games as the Dipika Pallikal-led women’s team too reached the summit clash to ensure India’s best ever performance in Squash at the Asiad.
Earlier, World No. 56 Mahesh Mangaokar gave India the lead against Kuwait in the men’s team semi-finals. It was smooth sailing for the Indian against Ammar Altamimi except for the third game which turned out to be closely fought. Mangaokar won 11-4, 11-3, 12-10.
The men’s team will face the winner of Hong Kong versus Malaysia in the gold medal match.
In the women’s team event, the in-form World No. 21 Joshna Chinappa put up a resounding performance versus Park Eunok of South Korea to put India within sniffing distance of the final. Joshna who had won two titles this year and the Commonwealth Games doubles gold medal along with Pallikal, played a crisp game and managed to keep the Korean on the backfoot. Chinappa emerged victorious 11-6, 13-11, 11-8.
The onus was then on Dipika Pallikal, the World No. 12 who had won the singles bronze medal to complete the job for India. Dipika who had been a little inconsistent during the group matches, started brilliantly and didn’t leave any ground for her opponent, Song Sumni of Korea. However, she lost her focus a bit in the third game but managed to regain control of the match and the tie in the fourth game. Dipika edged past Song 11-4, 11-5, 8-11, 11-5.
It will however, be an uphill task for the girls in the final as they face the mighty Malaysians led by World No.1 Nicol David. Let’s hope for another spirited all-round show by both the Indian teams in the finals.

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