ToI article on Asian Games

India’s top two women squash players, world number 32 Dipika Pallikal and 33rd ranked Joshna Chinappa, have been seeded 5-8 and placed in the top half of the draw in the November 12-27 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China.

Dipika, 19, has the unenviable task of taming world No. 1 and gold medal favourite Nicol David of Malaysia after crossing her first round hurdle in the form of China’s Gu Jinyue, ranked a distant 184.

Her senior compatriot Joshna, 24, has the relatively easier job of disposing off world No. 20 Low Wee Wern, also of Malaysia, in the second round, after having drawn less fancied Filipino Aribado Jemyca as her first round opponent.

Hong Kong’s Au Wing Chi, ranked number 15 in the WISPA rankings, has been seeded second in the 16-strong women’s draw.

Among men, India’s leading hope and world number 26, Saurav Ghosal, has been seeded 3-4 with Pakistan’s top player Aamir Atlas Khan, ranked 20th globally, and has secured a first round bye.

Compatriot Siddharth Suchde, occupying the 71st spot in the latest Professional Squash Association rankings, has also been given a first round bye and is seeded 5-8 among men.

Both 24-year-old Ghosal and 25-year-old Suchde are expected to cross their first hurdles against low-ranked opponents before meeting each other in the quarterfinals.

World number 13 Mohammed Azlan Iskandar of Malaysia is the top seed while his compatriot and number 17 Ong Beng Hee is seeded second in the 32-strong draw.

In team events, Indian men have been placed in group B with favourites Malaysia, Japan, South Korea, Qatar and Saudi Arabia while Group A comprises Pakistan, KuwaitHong KongSri Lanka and Games hosts China.

Indian women are also in group B along with Hong Kong, China and Pakistan while Malaysia, South Korea and Japan are in group A.

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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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