India women’s squash team settles for second straight silver

Sunayna Kuruvilla and India number one Joshna Chinappa lost their respective singles as the team suffered its second defeat against Hong Kong in a space of three days.

Sunayna Kuruvilla lost to Tze Lok Ho 8-11, 6-11, 12-10, 3-11 in the opening match of the women's team final.   -  AFP

Joshna Chinappa, the World No. 16 and India's best woman squash player, had only yesterday shocked former eight-time World champion Nicol David, in the women’s team semifinal against defending champion Malaysia.

But on Saturday, Chinappa frequently appeared helpless against Hong Kong’s Annie Au, ranked five rungs above her.

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There were no surprises as Hong Kong defeated India 2-0 and won the women’s team gold. Shortly after Ho Tze Lok defeated the young Sunanya Kuruvilla 11-8, 11-6, 10-12, 11-3, Annie beat Joshna 11-3, 11-9, 11-5 to complete the formalities.

India had its greatest squash moment at the Incheon Asiad four years ago when it won the men’s team gold apart from two silvers and a bronze. This time, the women’s team silver was its brightest medal with the other four all being bronze.

When Joshna took to the court, it did not take very long to realise that her painful loss to Annie in the league phase was back to haunt her.

Annie played a brilliant game - there was a nice variety too - as she went for smart boasts and clever drops that often had the Indian in trouble.

“Annie was very strong today and I felt I played well in patches, she put me under pressure from the beginning till the end. She played a clinical game, hardly made any errors,” said the 31-year-old who was winning her third straight Asiad medal.

Sunanya had been the lone bright spot in the league match against Hong Kong earlier, snatching a win, but on Saturday,  she put up a strong challenge, her opponent Ho Tze handled the endgame better.

Meanwhile, Malaysia won the men’s team title in the evening with a 2-1 victory over Hong Kong.