Sandhu: Squash team positive about medal chances

Hong Kong and Malaysia will be among the heavyweights in the discipline at the Asian Games, says the World No. 59.

Harinder Pal Sandhu at a practice session in Chennai on Saturday.   -  S. R. Raghunathan

The Indian squash contingent is positive about its medal chances at the Asian Games in Palembang, Indonesia, according to Harinder Pal Sandhu.

In a chat with Sportstar here on Saturday, Sandhu said the players trained in “different countries at different times” before coming together for the National camp held at the Indian Squash Academy (ISA) here for more than a week. “Saurav (Ghosal) and I trained in Pontefract, Joshna (Chinappa) in Bristol, Dipika (Pallikal) in Egypt, Ramit (Tandon) in Europe, Mahesh (Mangaonkar) in Kolkata... This (the camp) was just to get everyone together, to see how everyone is playing. Like, tuning up before the Games.”

Specific training

His coach at the Pontefract Squash Club, Malcolm Willstrop, under whom he has previously trained for around two years, focussed specifically on “the racquet swing, the pace on the ball, working the angles, and consistently hitting good lengths,” he added.

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“There are a lot of top PSA players who train there (at the Club). And, in England, it’s generally cold. So, training conditions are much cooler than in Asia; which is hard on your body and movements, making you work hard in every session. In the end, you feel that you’re much stronger, moving and hitting well,” Sandhu said.

On the competition at the Asian Games this time, he said, “Hong Kong is very strong. Malaysia is strong, as well. And there are other teams that are decent. Koreans are physically very fit, and strong when they play.”