SYS Open, PSA 5 (9-14 May’17)

RamitRamit Tandon who won his maiden PSA title in SYS Open, a World Tour event.

The one time top Indian junior, Tandon who had come into this event as a qualifier beat his country-mate and third seed Kush Kumar 11-3, 11-2, 11-3 in the final. This was Tandon’s third appearance in a PSA event final.

The Kolkata player who shifted to New York nearly six years ago for studies has just begun to shape his career in the professional circuit. This has been his second tournament in the year, Read more of this post

WSF Level 2 Coaching Course, 4-9 May Chennai

In all 15 coaches from various parts of India benefited from the 6-day WSF level II course, which concluded at the Indian Squash Academy on Tuesday. The course was conducted, in keeping with the WSF initiate of coach education programme, by Maj S. Maniam, the Director of Coaching of the world body. National coach Cyrus Poncha and Iran’s Alireza Sanaei, were other two officials to assist him.88b868fb-d4e1-42d0-9ea9-acc5c6f9e205

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Abu Dhabi Open (1-5 May) 

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Vikram Malhotra annexed his fifth PSA title after beating Egypt’s Youssef Ibrahim in the final of the Abu Dhabi Open, a PSA world tour event. Vikram won 6-11, 11-4, 11-3, 9-11, 13-11.

The top seeded Indian, fresh from the Asian Championship held in Chennai, beat Hesham Mohamed Aly of Egypt in the first round thereafter seventh seed Ahmad Al-Saraj of Jordan in the quarters, both in fluent style. In the semi-final he took out Pakistan’s Khwaja Adil Maqbool who retired in the third game after trailing by two games. The stiff test then came for him the title-match where the Egyptian took him to extra points in the decider.

Cyrus Poncha receives ASF Award 

4741bd60-285b-4f88-9249-c4162d88141eNational coach Cyrus Poncha who was chosen from a list of 13 nominations from seven countries for the 2016 Asian Squash Federation Coach of the Year award by the Asian body received the honour at the prize distribution function of the Asian Championship in Chennai.  He was the only Indian in this year’s list of awards (players and officials put together). The ASF recognition came for Poncha’s role in the string of achievements of India’s senior and junior players last year. The highlights were the World doubles in Australia where Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal Karthik had won a mixed silver, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika as also Joshna and Harinder Pal Sandhu had won a bronze medal each. Then in the Asian team Championship in Chinese Taipei, India had won a silver medal in the women’s section and bronze in the men’s section.  Further in the South Asian Games in Guwahati in February, India had a rich haul of four medals including three gold and one bronze for a historic show. Velavan Senthilkumar’s rise to become the Asian U-19 gold medal winner was another plus for Poncha.  He had won it earlier in 2004, 2009, 2012 and in 2014 as Team coach ( a distinction was brought because there was a separate award for Individual coach that year). In addition he was also the ASF Junior Coach of the Year award winner in 2003, 2008 and 2010. Incidentally, Poncha was the recipient of the Dhronacharya Award in 2005.

By SR Suryanarayan

Joshna makes history (Asian C’ship, Chennai 26-30 April)

11229d5b-7d16-4aa1-a9e9-54e12f0cc16a.jpgJoshna Chinappa made history by becoming the first Indian to win the Asian Individual Squash Champion. Saurav Ghosal became the first male player from India to make it to the final of the Asian Championship and Dipika Pallikal Karthik emulated the champion of yesteryear Misha Grewal by making it to the final. Read more of this post