Asian Games 2014 – Individual Event (20-24 Sept’14)

Saurav Ghosal clinched a silver medal for India in the men’s singles squash event at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, after losing to Abdullah Al Muzayen of Kuwait in the final.

The summit clash was a five-game thriller, with Ghosal shooting into the lead, by winning two early games. However, Al Muzayen came back strongly from the third game, to win the match 10-12, 2-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-9.

The 28-year-old Kolkata boy, who had the opportunity to make history by winning the first ever Asian Games gold medal for India in squash, squandered a 2-0 lead. It all started to go wrong for Ghosal in the third game, where Al Muzayen raced into a 6-3 lead, later going on to win it 14-12, after a close fight.

This seemed to have buoyed the Kuwaiti a bit, as he comprehensively beat his Indian counterpart in the remaining two games, to complete a remarkable comeback win.

Although Ghosal could not win the gold medal, his name will go down in the country’s squash history, as this is the first time India have won an Asian Games silver medal, not only in squash, but also in any racquet sport.

World No.12 Pallikal could not better the colour of her assured bronze, losing to Nicol David in the women’s singles semifinals. The 23-year-old Indian was outplayed 4-11 4-11 5-11 by David, who took merely 25 minutes to storm into the final. The top-seeded Malaysian came into the match as the overwhelming favourite, having won four titles in five attempts since the sport was introduced in the 1998 Bangkok Games.

India had won three medals (all bronze) out of four categories at Guangzhou 2010.

MEN’S INDIVIDUAL EVENT (SILVER):
Final:

[5/8] Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) bt [1] Saurav Ghosal (IND)      10-12, 2-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-9 (87m)

Semi-finals:
[1] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [3/4] Ong Beng Hee (MAS)      11-9, 11-4, 11-5 (45m)
[5/8] Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) bt [2] Max Lee (HKG)             6-11, 11-8, 4-11, 11-6, 11-8

(75m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [5/8] Nasir Iqbal (PAK)             11-6, 9-11, 11-2, 11-9 (58m)
[3/4] Ong Beng Hee (MAS) bt [5/8] Leo Au (HKG)             11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 11-7 (68m)
[5/8] Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) bt [3/4] Mohd Nafiizwan Adnan (MAS)         11-7, 6-11, 11-6, 11-6 (65m)
[2] Max Lee (HKG) bt [5/8] Abdulla Mohd Al Tamimi (QAT)         11-4, 11-5, 9-11, 8-11, 11-2 (55m)

2nd round:

[1] Saurav Ghosal (IND) bt [9/16] Ahmad Al-Saraj (JOR)    11-2, 11-4, 11-3 (34m)
[5/8] Abdullah Al Muzayen (KUW) bt [9/16] Harinder Pal Sandhu (IND) 11-4, 11-6, 11-2 (27m)

WOMEN’S INDIVIDUAL EVENT (BRONZE):
Final:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [2] Low Wee Wern (MAS)          9-11, 11-6, 11-5, 12-10 (60m)

Semi-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [3/4] Dipika Pallikal (IND)          11-4, 11-4, 11-5 (25m)
[2] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt [3/4] Annie Au (HKG)           11-9, 11-5, 11-5 (39m)

Quarter-finals:
[1] Nicol David (MAS) bt [5/8] Misaki Kobayashi (JPN)      11-7, 11-5, 11-7 (31m)
[3/4] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [5/8] Joshana Chinappa (IND)            7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 15-17, 11-9 (87m)
[3/4] Annie Au (HKG) bt [5/8] Maria Toorpakai Wazir (PAK)         11-3, 11-4, 11-4 (18m)
[2] Low Wee Wern (MAS) bt [5/8] Joey Chan (HKG)          11-6, 8-11, 11-6, 11-5 (53m)

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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