CWG Squash: Dipika and Joshna look to defend doubles gold

The Indian squad boasts of experienced players who have been professionals long enough to tide over the sudden loss of reputed foreign coach Achraf Karargui.

Dipika Pallikal (L) and Joshna Chinappa after winning the women's doubles gold medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.   -  AFP

 

It has not been an ideal atmosphere for preparation for the Indian squash players, with the sudden exit of reputed foreign coach Achraf Karargui just a month before the Commonwealth Games. Thankfully, it is an individual sport and the squad boasts of experienced players who have been professionals long enough to tide over the tough phase. Only Ramit Tandon, 25, is the new entrant in the squad and he will compete in the doubles alongside Vikram Malhotra.

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Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal have been the faces of Indian squash for long and will once again lead the charge at the Commonwealth Games. The duo won India’s first and only CWG medal in squash — a gold — in the women’s doubles at 2014 Glasgow. Seeded eight and nine respectively in the singles, the two will begin their singles campaign in the Round of 32 and are capable of clinching a medal despite a strong field comprising the English top-two, Laura Massaro and Sarah-Jane Perry. The once dominant and forever favourite Nicol David of Malaysia has been seeded No. 3 in the competition.

The defending doubles champions have been seeded No. 3 and will be facing Pakistan’s Zafar sisters — Madina and Faiza — in a pool C match.

In the men’s singles, Saurav Ghosal will be India’s best bet and is the country’s highest seed at No. 3. With squash superpower Egypt not part of the Commonwealth, the Indian Squash Open winner will fancy his chances at the quadrennial event. He will be pairing with Dipika Pallikal in the mixed doubles and will aim for a highly achievable podium finish. Harinder Pal Sandhu and Vikram Malhotra are the other Indians in the singles competition.

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