Mumbai: Senior squash professional and 10-time national champion Saurav Ghosal on Thursday expressed frustration over the raquet sport failing to find its place in the quadrennial Olympic Games even as top golfers are to skip next month's sporting extravaganza in Rio de Janeiro.
"I think every squash player in the world has made it clear that let alone win a medal, being part of the Olympics is a massive achievement for them and everyone holds true to that word," said Ghosal, who is defending his men's title at the ongoing 73rd senior nationals at the Otters club in Mumbai.
"It is definitely very frustrating to see, or read articles every other day or every other week, of the world number 1, 2 of golf pulling out (of the Olympics) and then you have Rory McIlroy (world no. 4) coming out and saying that it doesn't really matter," he told reporters.
Women's champion Joshna Chinappa supported Ghosal's views, saying squash deserved its place in the Olympics.
"As an athlete we all aspire to play for India and win medals for the country and I personally think that squash is such a deserving sport to be a part of the Olympics. As of now it is not there, but at the same time it does not make me a lesser athlete or my sport lesser than any other sport.
"We have the Commonwealth Games, we have the Asian Games, we have our World Championships, so we look forward to that. We go back to the grind. We work as hard as any other top athlete in the world and hopefully the International Olympic Committee can see in time that squash deserves to be part of the Olympic programme," she added.
Ghosal pointed out that in total contrast to the top golfers who have withdrawn citing concerns about Zika virus in Brazil, the best woman squash player Nicole David of Malaysia had said recently that she would sacrifice anything to get a chance to take part in the Olympics.
"I mean its frustrating for us at a personal level, its frustrating for the sport at a broader level, but at the end its the International Olympic Committee (IOC) which has to be kind to look at it and see what exactly it wants," he said.