Hindu article on Dipika Pallikal

Dipika Pallikal wins Asian SquashShe is just 14. Yet, she has scripted success in the realm of squash. Meet Dipika Pallikal. In Singapore, she indulged in some mixing-it-up squash, besides `playing to her strengths’, did her superstitious bit (having a friend present in every single match), and found herself heading home with the Asian Junior squash championship gold in the under-15 category.
For 14-year-old Dipika Pallikal, it was one of her biggest wins. “It was one of my best performances, and it was the first time that there was an under-15 category,” said the Lady Andal student. On the right track in emulating the likes of Joshna Chinappa and Vaidehi Reddy, Dipika is readying herself for the WISPA event in Hyderabad, where she will be taking part in the qualifiers. The Singapore experience should help her deal with a few things she needs to sort out. “I need to work on my lunges and my fitness in general,” she said. National coach Cyrus Poncha was more than impressed with the performance. “Indian squash, especially in the under-15 category, is looking up, and we are definitely the best in Asia in that category. The focus now is on the big tournaments, especially the British Open,” he said. Besides Dipika’s gold, Anwesha Reddy’s and Ravi Dixit’s bronze in the girls’ and boys’ under-15 category respectively, completed an impressive Indian tally. “The competition in an Asian tournament is tougher than in a European tournament. The other Asian players in the junior championship were extremely fit and they played pretty slow, unlike we Indians who mixed it up,” said Dipika. Having moved on quite a bit from the time she was taught the simple task of holding a squash racket by her first coach Hari Om Tripathi, Dipika currently has her eye on the SAF Games in Colombo, and the Asian Games in Doha. “He (Hari Om Tripathi) was my first coach and still is. Hari Om, Cyrus and Major Maniam have helped me a lot in my game.” she said. Besides that, getting a chance to play against the world’s best player Nicole David in February at the Asian Seniors would have taught her a few tricks. “It was great. I almost got a game off her,” said Dipika. With money matters not creating worry-lines, thanks to the L. N. Mittal trust having adopted her, and Globosport managing her, Dipika needs merely to think of rackets, balls and courts, for the world to soon witness a lot more of her.


About Cyrus Poncha
I was born and lived in Bombay before moving to Chennai in 2001 to coach the Indian national squash team....what a journey its been!!

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