Asian Team C'ship: Indian women settle for silver

India's women were defeated by Malaysia 2-0 in the final on Sunday, at the Asian Team Squash Championship in Chinese Taipei.

Joshna Chinnappa lost 9-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-9 to Delia Arnold.   -  Ritu Raj Konwar (File Photo)

Indian women’s squash team ended its successful Asian Team squash Championship with a silver medal as it lost to Malaysia by 0-2 margin in the final. India’s performance was better than its bronze-medal finish in the earlier edition of the championship. Just like the league stage, India again lost to the eventual champion in the summit clash.

Sachika lost in straight games 7-11, 6-11, 10-12 to Sivasangari Subramaniam in the first match. India’s top player Joshna Chinappa gave a tought fight to Delia Arnold, who finally prevailed with 9-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-9 victory.

Joshna had lost to Delia Arnold in the earlier meeting of the two teams. There was promise of changed scenario after Joshna powered her way for the first game. But the cool Malaysian, took her time, avoided making mistakes and forced the rallies to trip Joshna even though points for a long time went neck and neck.

Turning point

The turning point came in the second game when Joshna on game-ball erred and Delia was not one to miss such opportunites. She found her way to grab the second game and from there keeping a low pace and concentrating more on returns, kept testing Joshna’s patience to good purpose.

The Indian fell to the bait and so ended a valiant effort. Dipika Pallikal was not required to play the third match which could have been decisive had Joshna won her encounter.

Overall, national coach Cyrus Poncha said it was a pleasing performance. “The boys lost a close tie against Pakistan and that too without Saurav Ghosal and the girls made steady progress, even took out the top seed Hong Kong. Yes, the final in the end proved heartbreaking but there is promise that this team will bring more laurels in the year,” he said.

The results:

Women: Final: Malaysia bt India 2-0 (Sivasangari Subramaniam bt Sachika Ingale 11-7, 11-6, 12-10; Delia Arnold bt Joshna Chinappa 9-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-9; Rachel Arnold v Dipika Pallikal (not held).

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