All three singles squash players settle for bronze medals

India’s squash singles campaign in the Asian Games yielded three bronze medals after Saurav Ghosal, Dipika Palikal and Joshna Chinappa lost their respective semifinal clashes on Saturday.

The Indian had beaten Japanese Kobayashi Misaki 3-0 in the quarterfinals. (File Picture)   -  GETTY IMAGES

Despite having the top Asian, it will just be a bronze in the men’s singles squash at the 18th Asian Games. But it will not be for lack of trying. Sourav Ghosal, the silver medallist at the last Asiad and the top seed, appeared to be heading to his second consecutive final when he won the first two games but pain in his left leg did him in.

He could not finish the job and lost 10-12, 11-13, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 to Hong Kong’s Au Chun Ming in the semifinal at the GBK courts here.

The two women in the fray, Joshna Chinnappa and Dipika Pallikal, also failed to cross the semifinal hurdle and India finished the singles events with three bronze medals. There were no surprises as Malaysia’s former multiple World champion Nicol David defeated Pallikal 11-7, 11-9, 11-6 while another Malaysian, Sivasangari Subramaniam, ended Chinnappa’s hopes with a 10-12, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7.

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Chun Ming, four years younger than Ghosal at 28, came with an interesting game plan against the Indian. The first two games were close but with Ghosal suffering pain in his leg, the Hong Kong player had it easy in the end.

“I don’t want to make excuses but to beat a player like Chun you need to have high intensity which I had in the first two games. By the end of the second game, I was struggling with my left leg a little bit,” said Ghosal.

“It’s very frustrating for me but today my body just didn’t hold up.”

So, will that be a problem in the team events which begin on Monday?

“I don’t know how bad it is right now, I will have to wait and see,” said the 32-year-old who helped India to men’s team gold at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.

Meanwhile, Chinnappa felt she did not capitalise on her good start and added that the officiating had let her down.

“I thought the refereeing was very dodgy on a lot of occasions. I’ve played with this referee in many maches and I’ve always had the same problem with him,” she said.

“That’s not the reason why I lost but definitely it can influence a lot of decisions especially when it is 8-7 (in the fourth game). But Siva played very well, all credit to her.”