Chennai: After the hectic practice sessions at the Indian Squash Academy, the Indian team members believe they are primed to bring out their best in the Commonwealth Games being held in Gold Coast, Australia from April 4 to 15.
The nine-member contingent including six players _ Saurav Ghosal, Harinder Pal Sandhu, Vikram Malhotra, Ramit Tandon, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal Karthik _ and three officials _Coaches Cyrus Poncha, Bhuvneshwari Kumari and Physio Graeme Everard (England) left for the Games on Saturday. 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 she and her partner were ready for the occasion. “We are in good touch and have trained hard in recent times,” the highest ranked Indian woman player said. 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. He believed that the team this time was perhaps the strongest that India had ever fielded in a multi-national event. “Competing for the nation was not just an honour but an inspiration,”he said while assuring that “you can expect the best from us.” Ghosal missed an individual bronze in Glasgow, losing to Peter Barker of England in the 3-4 placings.
National coach, Poncha averred with Saurav that team was perhaps the strongest to leave the Indian shores. “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 Poncha before signing off.
Following are the seedings: singles: men: 3. Ghosal; 14. Harinder; 16. Vikram ; women: 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