Set for greater deeds

Dipika Pallikal... rising star.-R. RAGU

Dipika Pallikal, who promises to go far both in Indian and world squash, plans to tighten her resolve to achieve her goals, writes S. R. Suryanarayan.

Back from Egypt after a two-month training stint under leading coach Amr Wagih, Dipika Pallikal is beaming at the latest offering from the WISPA (the World Women’s Squash Players Association). The association’s website, which has put up a list of ‘rising stars’ (Under-19) who regularly play in the women’s circuit, has projected Dipika as the number one ranked junior in the world now.

Thrilled over this assessment, the young champion, who promises to go far both in Indian and world squash, plans to tighten her resolve to achieve her goals. “Yes, the senior national title is something that I have not bagged but I am looking at higher levels already,” said the player, who flew into Chennai to join the national camp for the Asian Junior Championship to be held in South Korea. Having missed an opportunity to represent India at the Asian senior championship in Kuwait earlier this year for not following the selection norms laid down by the SRFI (Squash Rackets Federation of India), Dipika was cautious.

A winner of the Asian Under-15 title two years ago, the Chennai school girl has decided to go all out in pursuit of success in the Asian Junior Championship. Dipika, whose training and other expenses connected with her participation in various tournaments are taken care of by the Mittal Champion Trust, was supposed to go to Kuwait from Egypt to continue her training.

“Yes that was the plan. But at the moment with Coach Wagih continuing in Egypt my training sessions remain there. I have been sparring with highly-ranked men players like Shabana and Ramy Ashour and also several other promising boys. My coach insists that I play against young boys to tune up my game,” she said of her Egypt experience. “I definitely feel a lot better as a player and am looking forward to the challenges ahead,” she added.