Asian Games 2018: India men's squash team clinch bronze after loss to Malaysia in semifinals

The Indian men, who also entered the mega-event as defending champions, settled for bronze after a 0-2 loss to Hong Kong in the semifinals. Saurav Ghosal, who was not fully fit, and Harinder Pal Sandhu, lost to Max Lee and Leo Au, 0-3 and 1-3 respectively.

Press Trust of India August 31, 2018 18:29:28 IST
Asian Games 2018: India men's squash team clinch bronze after loss to Malaysia in semifinals

Jakarta: Joshna Chinappa upstaged eight-time world champion Nicol David as the Indian women's squash team outplayed defending champions Malaysia 2-0 to enter its second successive Asian Games final.

The Indian men, who also entered the mega-event as defending champions, settled for bronze after a 0-2 loss to Hong Kong in the semifinals. Saurav Ghosal, who was not fully fit, and Harinder Pal Sandhu, lost to Max Lee and Leo Au, 0-3 and 1-3 respectively.

The loss came after the women's team created the biggest upset in the draw, blanking the David-led Malaysia in the semifinals. The team, comprising Joshna, Dipika Pallikal and Sunayna Kuruvilla, is now assured of at least a silver.

Asian Games 2018 India mens squash team clinch bronze after loss to Malaysia in semifinals

Representative image. AFP

Joshna, World No.16, had a point to prove after a crushing loss against familiar foe Annie Au in the final pool match against Hong Kong. India lost the tie 1-2 and finished behind Hong Kong, resulting in a tougher opponent in Malaysia, the most dominant team in the Games' history.

The match against Nicol went down to the wire and was full of long gruelling rallies. Joshna had a match ball on 10-9 in the fourth game but the Malaysian fought back to take the next three points, levelling the opening singles at 2-2.

The crowd support was heavily in favour of Malaysia but not enough to distract the gritty Indian. This time she converted the match ball on 10-9 to complete the biggest win of her Asian Games career.

"I was very upset yesterday as you must have seen. I did not play the way I was supposed to play. Spoke to my parents and coach and that helped. Today, I just wanted to be myself. Nicol is such a champion. She always plays a fair game and today was no different. Really happy to have come through," said Joshna after a 12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 10-12, 11-9 victory.

Nicol was gracious in her defeat.

"Joshna played really well. It was a very good match and I could not play my A game," said Nicol after the loss.

World No 19 Dipika Pallikal too did not play to her potential against Joey Chan on Thursday. But on Friday in the second singles, she came out firing on all cylinders against former World No.5 Low Wee Wern.

The Indian's brute power was too much to handle for Wee Wern, who is on a comeback trail after a 20-month injury lay-off. The scoreline may not suggest but it was a tricky match for Pallikal, who eventually pulled through 11-2, 11-9, 11-7.

"The plan was definitely to rattle her with my power. Wee Wern has been a top player and has already won three tournaments after her comeback. Also, I had to do it for Joshna. She played such a great match to get us on the brink of a win," said Pallikal.

India will play Hong Kong in the final, against whom they lost in the group stage.

"Hong Kong are as tough to beat as Malaysia. They have a very solid team. But our confidence has got a major boost after today," she added.

With the win, India have equalled their best performance at the Games, having won a silver four years ago.

 

Updated Date:

also read

Pakistan domestic cricketer makes suicide attempt after being ignored for inter-city championship
First Cricket News

Pakistan domestic cricketer makes suicide attempt after being ignored for inter-city championship

A young cricketer from Hyderabad in the southern Sindh province attempted suicide after he was not selected for his home team in the Pakistan Cricket Board's inter-city championship.

'Dasuna Shanaka one of greatest captains': Twitter reacts as Sri Lanka beat Australia in thriller to level series
First Cricket News

'Dasuna Shanaka one of greatest captains': Twitter reacts as Sri Lanka beat Australia in thriller to level series

At one stage, Sri Lanka was in a spot of bother after they were reduced to 7-103 through the middle overs. However, the 10th-wicket partnership between Dushmantha Chameera and Maheesh Theekshana dragged the hosts towards a respectable total.

Malaysia Open: Prannoy advances to next round, Praneeth, Sameer bow out
Sports

Malaysia Open: Prannoy advances to next round, Praneeth, Sameer bow out

While Prannoy beat Malaysia’s Daren Liew, Praneeth and Sameer lost to Indonesia’s Anthony Sinisuka and Jonatan Christie respectively.