India’s women’s squash team takes silver

The Indian women’s team of Joshana Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal, Sunayna Kuruvilla and Tanvi Khanna, lost its first two singles matches.

Sunayna lost 1-3 (8-11, 6-11, 12-10, 3-11) to Ho Tze-Lok as Hong Kong led 1-0 in the final. Sunayna had defeated Tze-Lok during a Pool B clash but in the final, the 19-year-old was unable to deliver under pressure. Sunayna was fielded ahead of experienced Dipika due to the latter’s physical toll during Friday’s win over Malaysia in the semi-finals.

Young Sunayna delivered her best in the third game, winning it 12-10 to take the game to the fourth set as Tze-Lok had gone 2-0 up thanks to 11-8, 11-6 wins.

Then veteran Joshana lost 0-3 (3-11, 9-11, 5-11) to Annie Au Wing Chi, who had won by a similar margin during the Pool B clash against the Indian. In the first set, Annie quickly ran to an 11-3 lead, giving no chance to Joshana.

Joshana, 31, improved her game in the second set and both fought hard until the Hong Kong player came out strong at the end for the 11-9 triumph.

In the third set, Annie was at the top of her game, dominating Joshana. She got off to a good start before Joshana tried to stage a comeback but it was not enough. Annie went on to win 11-5 to win the tie 3-0 to give Hong Kong a 2-0 unassailable lead.

Joshana said: She (Annie) put pressure on me right from the start. I played well in patches but it was not enough).

The gold in the women’s squash team event was first for Hong Kong after a silver and bronze in 2010 and 2014 respectively.

India’s squash contingent will return home with a total of five medals for the first time since the sport became part of Asian Games programme in 1998. In the previous edition, India’s squash team scaled the highest ever tally of four medals.

In Jakarta, Saurav Ghosal, Dipika and Joshana got a bronze medal each in the singles competitions. Then the men’s team took a bronze and the women’s side bagged a silver. The women’s team got a bronze in 2010.

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