Fresh from her exploits in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games where she got a gold in the women’s doubles with Joshana Chinappa, squash ace Dipika Pallikal is confident that the Indian team can win medals in each of the four categories at the Sep 19-Oct 4 Incheon Asian Games.
“We can win medals in all categories, but it’s wrong to say it’s going to be easier than the Commonwealth Games. For example there is Nicol David, who is the world no. 1 and favourite for the women’s singles title,” said Pallikal at the launch JSW Indian Challenger Circuit.
India’s no. 1 female player, who was present at the media conference along with top men’s player Saurav Ghosal, said other strong Asian contenders like Malaysia and Hong Kong would pose a tough challenge in the continental Games.
“India are seeded third in both men’s and women’s team events. Malaysia and Hong Kong will be there but we are capable of doing well. On a good day anything can happen,” said the Chennai-based player who is currently ranked 12th in the world.
Ghosal, the world no. 16 who lost in the men’s singles bronze medal contest in Glasgow to finish fourth, is the top seed in the Asian Games but has a tough draw in front of him.
“I am the no. 1 seed and am drawn to meet Ahmad Al-Saraj of Jordan (world no. 105) in the second round and then Pakistan’s Nasir Iqbal (world no. 42) in the next round and then Ong Beng Hee (Malaysian world no. 35) in the semis. If I progress to the final I could be up against Max Lee (Hong Kong), who is seeded second,” explained Ghosal.
Asked when he was scheduled to leave for Incheon, Ghosal said, “I am supposed to leave on the 15th so that I would be there on the 16th, but I am yet to get my flight ticket.”