India’s top squash players, Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa are optimistic about India’s chances at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games, to be held later this month.
Saurav, World No. 15, said Indian teams can win three to four medals, but with preparations for the Games just starting, it would all boil down to sharpening of skills at the camp. “Hopefully, everything will come together in the next two weeks (at the camp here),” he said.
The 35-year-old said he had been preparing earnestly in the USA with his coach David Palmer and is looking forward to the camp. “We are on the home stretch of preparations. It’s all about keeping the body ticking by keeping the mind and body fresh,” he said.
Joshna said this is “our best chance to win medals.” The Asian champion and World No. 17 said while the focus is obviously on doubles, this time, she will go all out to win a medal in singles as well. “I think we definitely have a great chance to win a medal in doubles. But this time, I will try to push for a medal in singles,” she said.
She said getting former World champion and World No. 1 Gregory Gaultier to Chennai to spar with the Indian players was the best thing to have happened to Indian squash.
“It’s great to have someone of the calibre of Gregory (Gaultier). He still plays at an unbelievably high level. With his expertise and knowledge, it will definitely be a boost.
“Moreover, having Sebastien Bonmalais (French player ranked 33 in the world) spar has been great. It’s nice to have fresh minds. It’s been great to get on court with them as well as have the whole Indian team together,” she added.
Former World No. 10 Dipika Pallikal, who has not played competitive singles for the last three years, not surprisingly is featured only in doubles with Joshna, with whom she won a gold in the World doubles championships recently. “She’s (Dipika) a doubles expert. After discussing with her, we decided she sticks to doubles,” Cyrus Poncha, SRFI secretary said.