Joshna: Win ‘bigger than our Incheon silver’

Joshna Chinappa reflects on India’s stunning win on Friday, and avoids talking about a familiar opponent in the final.

Joshna Chinappa starred in India’s 2-0 win over Malaysia in the women’s team semifinals on Friday.   -  PTI

After stunningly guiding India to the women’s team squash final at the Asian Games, Joshna Chinappa wanted the joy to linger longer.

India will be playing Hong Kong for the gold on Saturday, and a victory would be the women’s first at the Asiad, but just the thought of the opponent made Joshna shudder. It stirred up fresh wounds for the country’s top player. “I don’t want to talk about that match now, I hate talking about it. We just want to enjoy this moment, we’re in the final right now,” said Joshna.

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“After Thursday’s match (where Joshna and India lost 2-1 to Hong Kong in the league phase), I was feeling very upset. I spoke to my coach, my parents. I knew I wasn’t playing the way I should have been playing.”

A lot of things had run in Joshna’s mind last night. “I was thinking, ‘Oh, you won a silver last time, will you be able to do it this time’,” revealed the 31-year-old. “Wee Wern is in very great form, she has won three tournaments in a row coming here. All credit to Dipika for backing me up with her victory. I’m so happy, this is certainly bigger than our Incheon silver.”

‘Best squash of her life’

Dipika was all praise for her team-mate, too.

“Joshna is now playing the best squash of her life, she has trained really hard this summer. I’ve trained really hard too, the other two girls too,” said Dipika. “We’re obviously disappointed with our loss [on Thursday] but to come back and do what we did [on Friday] is a sign that we are here to win the gold.”

Dipika said Hong Kong would be a hard nut to crack. “If I’m right, they have been playing the last four Asian Games, they have given us pressure situations,” said Dipika. “In a few hours, we will think about the final. [Saturday] is a new day, we look forward to getting on court again and just enjoying ourselves and hopefully, we’ll be playing our best squash.”