India beats Pakistan to win Gold at Asian Boys Championship

Indian boys beat Pakistan to win gold at Asian Team squash

India win gold at Asian Team Squash

The Indian junior boys team created history when they downed archrivals and defending title holders Pakistan India  2-1 in the 15th Asian Junior Team Championships held in Colombo, Sri Lanka to win this prestigious title for the first time in Indian squash history since the inception of the Asian Championships in 1983.

Ramit Tandon bt Danish Atlas Khan 11/7, 6/11, 11/9, 8/11, 11/9, Abhishek Pradhan lost to Nasir Iqbal 4/11, 7/11, 3/11, Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Sadam Ul Haq11/7, 11/2, 11/6

Playing to a packed crowd at the Sri Lankan Air Force base squash venue, the Indian players comprising Ramit Tandon, Abhishek Pradhan, Mahesh Mangaonkar and Vrishab Kotian rose to the occasion as they outmanoeuvred and out played the Pakistanis.

Our no. 1 player and captain Ramit Tandon who had been untested so far confirmed that he is certainly the most improved Indian squash player in recent times. Playing Danish Atlas Khan the Pakistani no. 1, the match lasted 90 min and went the distance with Ramit displaying his amazing skills. Winning the first game 11 – 7 with his comprehensive finish shots Ramit was pumped up. He lost the 2nd game 6-11, but came back strongly in the 3rd winning it by the narrowest margins 11-9. Danish then took the 4th game 11-8, setting a tough 5th game ahead. The 2 played great squash and the score was neck to neck till 6-6, then Ramit jumped to a 9-6 lead. Danish then fought back to level the score and 9-9. The next two were blistering rallies with both players moving to every inch of the court. Ramit finally won the game 11-9 with a backhand volley drop.
It was a great match and the crowds were entertained to a high level of squash, which kept everyone glued to their seats until the very last point. Major (R) S. Maniam, Consultant Coach – SRFI immediately after the match expressed “I have not seen skills at this level amongst any Indian players in the last decade.”

Abhishek Pradhan the no. 2 player was next on with Nasir Iqbal. As much as Abhishek tried running the 4 corners of the court retrieving many shots he could, in the end he was outplayed and lost 0-3.

The decider saw 2 lanky players in action, Mahesh Mangaonkar and Sadam Ul Haq. From the onset Mahesh stamped his authority and did not give the Pakistani any hopes of winning this tie. Showing true class Mahesh romped home 3-0 as the elated Indian team jumped for joy.

“With this victory in hand, India now are the proud owners of 3 of the 4 Asian junior titles. 6 months ago, Ravi Dixit and Dipika Pallikal won the Asian Junior Individual Championship (Boys and Girls under 19 resp). Today we have won the Junior Boys Team,” said the jubilant Secretary General, SRFI – Srivatsan Subramaniam.

“This certainly augurs well for India squash, all the hard work put in by the players with the unvarying support from the federation and the government is producing the desired results” said Major (R) S. Maniam, Consultant Coach – SRFI.  “This is certainly a dream come true. I am lost for words to express my delight. Ramit was certainly the hero of the day; he has worked so very hard for this. It certainly is a great way to start the year,” said Cyrus Poncha, National Coach.


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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