A nine-member Indian squash team, led by Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal Karthik, left for Gold Coast on Saturday to participate in the Commonwealth Games to be held from April 4-15.
After the hectic practice sessions at the Indian Squash Academy, the Indian team including Harinder Pal Sandhu, Vikram Malhotra, Ramit Tandon, Joshna Chinappa and three officials — coaches Cyrus Poncha, Bhuvneshwari Kumari and Physio Graeme Everard (England) left for the Games today.
“We have three players in the top 20. Everyone has been doing well on the professional circuit and are in fine nick. Our goal is a for a medal in the individual events while we believe that we will be there on the podium in the doubles competition,” said National coach Poncha.
The squash events – singles and doubles – will be held from April 5 to 15.
Joshna, who alongwith Dipika had won the gold in the women’s doubles in the Glasgow Games 2014, said they were ready for the occasion.
“We are in good touch and have trained hard in recent times,” said Joshna, the highest ranked Indian woman player.
She said in a competition of this stature every match was not just tough but crucial to our progress.
“The success last time is a good inspiration,” Joshna added.
Dipika, a quarterfinalist in singles last time, expressed happiness with her form and hoped for the best at Gold Coast.
Ghosal, the highest ranked Indian in the PSA list, at 14, agreed every match would be a test and said everyone in the squad was high on confidence.
“Competing for the nation was not just an honour but an inspiration,” he said while assuring that “you can expect the best from us,” said Ghosal, who had missed an individual bronze in Glasgow after losing to Peter Barker of England in the 3-4 placings.
Following are the seedings:
Men’s Singles: 3. Ghosal; 14. Harinder; 16. Vikram ;
Women’s Singles: 8. Joshna ; 9. Dipika
Women’s Doubles: 3. Joshna and Dipika;
Mixed Doubles: 5. Ghosal and Dipika ; 8. Joshna and Harinder;
Men’s Doubles: 11. Vikram and Ramit.