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Rediff.com  » Sports » Squash: India men down Malaysia, set up Pakistan final

Squash: India men down Malaysia, set up Pakistan final

Source: PTI
Last updated on: September 29, 2023 20:17 IST
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IMAGE: Saurav Ghosal outclassed Malaysia's Eain Yow NG 3-1 in 69 minutes to wrap up the second semi-final in favour of India in the men's squash team event. Photograph: Saurav Ghosal/Instagram

The Indian team humbled defending champions Malaysia 2-0 to reach the final of the men's squash event after the seasoned Saurav Ghosal and Abhay Singh registered identical wins at the Asian Games in Hangzhou on Friday.

 

India set up a marquee gold medal clash against Pakistan, against whom they lost in the pool stage and will seek revenge in the gold medal clash to be played on Saturday at 1.30pm IST.

Abhay Singh started the proceedings for India on a positive note, securing a 3-1 (11-3 12-10 9-11 11-6) win over Muhammad Addeen Idrakie Bin Bahtiar in the opening match. He took 57 minutes to ward off the challenge of Bin Bahtiar.

The experienced Ghosal then got the better of Eain Yow NG 3-1 (11-8 11-6 12-10 11-3) in 69 minutes to wrap up the second semi-final in favour of India. Mahesh Mangaonkar was not required to play his match against Mohammad Syafiq Bin Mohd Kamal.

The Indian men had settled for the bronze medal in the last edition of the Games in Indonesia.

IMAGE: The India women's squash team of Anahat Singh, Tanvi Khanna, Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa won the bronze medal. Photograph: SAI Media/X

Earlier, the Indian women's squash team signed off with a bronze medal after going down fighting to Hong Kong in the semi-finals.

Joshna was the only Indian who won her match as she defeated world number 24 Tze Lok Ho 3-2 (7-11, 11-7, 9-11, 11-6, 11-8) to level the tie after Tanvi went down meekly (3-0) to Sin Yuk Chan in the opener.

"Sometimes it's just about hanging in there and fighting through. There were moments where that's exactly what I did. I didn't think too much about having a plan or a strategy. I knew today no matter what happens I had to keep fighting through," Joshna said.

Playing against high-ranked and experienced opponent in Lee Ka Yi, the 15-year-old Anahat then tried her best but was undone by her inexperience.

The teenager saved eight match points as she went from 10-2 to 10-10 in the third game but eventually lost the final (0-3) 8-11, 7-11, 10-12 and the tie.

India had finished with a silver in the previous edition. They had lost to Hong Kong in the final at the 2018 Jakarta Games.

"It was 1-1 (in matches) and my match was a really important match, and if we had won that we would have gone to the finals. I feel like it could have gone better and I could have won it. They were really pushing me and hoping I would win the match and we would get a better medal," Anahat said.

Joshna, who was a part of the silver winning side in 2018, was left a "little disappointed that they couldn't get over the finish line".

"We came in and we gave our best I'm just happy to have that fighting spirit on court. That's who I am as a player.

"I was really happy I could play at a big stage for my country. Playing for India always brings out the best in me. I'm just glad I could do it today."

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