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

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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