Asiad: Ghosal reaches singles final, Deepika settles for bronze


first_imgIndia’s Dipika Pallikal (right) returns a shot against Malaysia’s Nicol David during the women’s squash semi-final at the Asian Games in Incheon on September 22.There are days when one look at a sportsperson immediately gives the impression that he is going to do something special. Saurav Ghosal gave that feeling on the squash court on Monday as he put himself a step away from a coveted Asiad gold medal.Till now, India had only won bronze medals at the continental extravaganza. The Kolkata player’s effort means for the first time, an Indian will be playing with the top spot on the podium at stake.Ghosal whipped Malaysia’s seasoned Ong Beng Hee 11-9, 11-5, 11-4 to assure himself of at least a historic silver in men’s singles squash.However, he is not resting on his laurels and says he will give it his best shot against Abdullah Almezayen of Kuwait in the final. “I have one more match to go and will focus on it. It feels good to be assured of at least a silver medal but I am raring to go full tilt in the final,” said Ghosal.There are several sports at the Asian Games where the hype is less and crowd participation not that intense. Unlike more popular racquet sport like tennis and badminton, fewer people root for the underdog on a squash court.But for sheer effort and intelligence, Ghosal captured the imagination of the sparse gathering. His ability to slow down the pace of the rallies was a treat to watch.advertisementHaving defeated Pakistan’s Iqbal Nasir on Sunday, it was important for the top seed to make a quick recovery. In modern sport, one has to guard against relaxing after just one emotional win.As the short contest progressed, Ghosal knew he was closing in on a historical achievement.He has been in the sport for over a decade and kept a base at home and in the United Kingdom. Apart from being a professional squash player, he has studied economics and management at the University of Leeds.Speaking to Mail Today, 14-time national champion and current India coach Bhuvneshwari Kumari said: “This is a really big win for Saurav and India. In my time, we did not have squash in the Commonwealth Games or the Asiad. I am happy we have a number of players doing well.”Earlier, Dipika Pallikal crashed out in the women’s singles semifinals as World No.1 Nicol David whipped her in straight games.”My opponent was superior to me but I am happy I am not going back to India emptyhanded,” said Dipika.Two medals in WushuIndia were assured of at least two bronze medals in Wushu with Thoudam Sanathoi Devi and Narender Grewal making it to the semi-finals in their respective events on Monday. Sanathoi beat Mongolia’s Amgalanjargal Sangidorj 2-0 in the Sanda 52kg category. The Manipuri will now meet Zhang Luan of China. Grewal outplayed Pakistan’s Abdullah in the men’s Sanda 60kg quarterfinal contest by an identical 2-0 margin.last_img

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