Daly College Sub-Junior / Junior National S (22-27 OCT’16)

national-champions-2016Velavan SenthilKumar and Sunayna Kuruvilla (both from Tamil Nadu) became U-19 national champions at the Daly College Sub-Junior / Junior National Squash Championship. While Velavan retained his title without much of a fight because his opponent Abhay Singh, also of TN threw in the towel at the end of the second game with a back strain, for Sunayna it was a well earned maiden success which was one of the high points of the day. Seeded second, Sunayna beat her arch rival the top seeded Akanksha Salunkhe of Goa in four games.

The final day produced quite a few upset results in keeping with the highly charged atmosphere at the Daly College squash facility. The U-17 boys’ section in fact brought forth a new name in Saksham Choudhary of Delhi who downed the usually efficient Tushar Shahani, the top seed from Maharashtra. Saksham’s rise has been phenomenal for this young talent has never gone beyond the quarterfinals stage in the nationals and here he had toppled what seemed to many a sure-shot winner in Tushar. Ananya Dabke toppled 3 higher seeded players on her way to her maiden national title defeating top seeded Megha Bhatia in an intense 5 games in the girls under 15 category. Equally facile was the rise of Abhisheka Shannon of Tamil Nadu who beat her state mate who was the top seed Diksha Aurobindo over five games in the U-13 section. Yash Fadte (B15), Shreyas Mehta (B13), Yuvraj Wadhwani (B11), Amita Gondi (G17) and Kaavya Basnal (G11) held on to their top positions.  Read more of this post

Velavan – Asian Junior Champ

Medalists at AJIC 2016.jpg

India’s emerging young player Velavan Senthilkumar did himself and his country proud by winning the U-19 title in the Asian Junior Individual Squash Championship held in Malaysia from 20-24 Sept’16.

The Chennai lad who trains at the Indian Squash Academy is also the second Indian male to win this title,the earlier one being Ravi Dixit in 2010. Read more of this post

PBA (Penang) Malaysian Junior (22-27Aug’16)

Kaavya Bansal was the pick among girls and Rutvik Rau shone in the boys among the five Indians who took part in the event.  Kaavya, who was seeded two, had a first round bye. Her first victim was local girl K. Vitrikashenie in the second round (11-2, 11-1, 11-9). Kaavya then got past Vinikashenie 11-4, 11-3,11-4 next and in the quarterfinal the Indian faced a fight from the Hong Kong girl Weng Yi Ching before prevailing 11-8, 12-10,6-11, 11-9. However Kaavya could not sustain her tempo in the semi-final where the third seed C. Sashmini shocke her in straight games 11-8,11-9, 11-5. In the play off, the Indian fell to the top seed Hong Kong player Lee Sze Lok to place fourth.  Read more of this post

World Doubles (15-18 Aug’16)

India at the World DoublesAcross the world, down-under in Australia, history was again created at the World Doubles Championships. India returned home with 3 world championship medals!!

Dipika / Saurav (mixed 1); Silver Medal

Joshna / Harinder (mixed 2): Bronze Medal

Dipika / Joshna (women’s); Bronze Medal

Harinder / Ramit (men’s);  5th position

India’s leading mixed doubles pair Dipika Pallikal and Saurav Ghosal went down to New Zealand’s Joelle King and Paul Coll 8-11, 8-11 in the final to miss the Gold medal in the WSF World doubles squash championship. Read more of this post

N. Ramachandran honoured with the Olympic Order

NR.jpgThe President of the Indian Olympic Association, Mr. N Ramachandran, who is also the President of the World Squash Federation & Patron of the SRFI, has been awarded the Olympic Order for his outstanding services to the Olympic movement. The Olympic Order is the highest award of the Olympic Movement and is awarded for particularly distinguished contributions to the Olympic Movement, that is, recognition of efforts worthy of merit in the cause of sport. It was established in May 1975.

The IOC President, Dr. Thomas Bach, formally presented the award to Mr. Ramachandran in Rio on the last day of the Games and congratulated the IOA President saying the award was in recognition of his contribution to the Indian Olympic Movement.

Mr. Ramachandran said, “I am humbled by the honour and it is indeed one of the best moments of my career in sports administration. I am extremely grateful to the IOC President, Dr Thomas Bach and the IOC Executive Board for choosing me for this award, ” he added, “This award belongs to the entire country.”

World Juniors, Poland (6-17 Aug’16)

World Junior TeamThe Indian juniors, a mix of raw and experience, had left Indian shores for Bielska-Biala in Poland for the World Junior Squash Championship with a touch of confidence. There were 11 of them (including five girls) for the initial Individual competitions phase. This was Egyptian Coach Achraf El Karargui’s first assignment and he too looked pleased with the talent in hand and expected a ‘ surprise or two’. There were solid performance by the boys with (9/16) Velavan Senthilkumar losing in the quarters and missing a medal. Read more of this post

Australian Open MW15 (6-12 Aug’16)

Dipika Australian OpenIndia’s national champion and top seed Dipika Pallikal Karthik saw the chance and grabbed it ,beating the eighth seed Mayar Hany of Egypt in the final to bag the trophy in the Australian Squash Open, a PSA world tour event in Melbourne.
The Indian, smarting after the loss in the title-round in the earlier tournament, the Victorian Open had a minor scare when the Egyptian rival snatched the first game. But not allowing that to unsettle her mind, Dipika swept aside her rival to complete a memorable 40-minute exercise 10-12,11-5, 11-6, 11-4 for her 11th PSA title. Read more of this post

Victorian Open PSA MW10 (2-7 Aug’16)

Top seed Dipika Pallikal suffered a defeat against second seed Millie Tomlinson of England in the finals of the Victoria Open squash event held in Melbourne.

Pallikal lost 11-6, 4-11, 11-3, 7-11, 9-11 to Tomlinson in the final match to finish runners-up at the event.After cruising through to the title round with a convincing 11-4, 11-4, 11-2 win over Egyptian Nouran El Torky, Dipika met with resistance that would turn into a stumbling block.The two players traded two games each before the English player ended the 80-min script in her favour. Read more of this post

SquashTime #23

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National Championship 2016 (12-18 Jul), Mumbai

Nationals 2016 winners.jpgDipika Pallikal dethroned 14 time champion Joshna Chinappa to regain the women’s national title for the second time at the Otters 73rd National Squash Championship held in Mumbai. Dipika, who was playing in the nationals after a five-year gap when she won in 2011, made it to the tops once again by beating arch-rival Joshna 4-11, 11-6, 11-2, 11-8 in 43 minutes.

The men’s crown was captured by title holder and top seed Saurav Ghosal, who created history by winning it for the 11th time, defeating fourth seed Harinderpal Singh Sandhu in five hard-fought games.

Ghosal beat Sandhu 11-7, 7-11, 3-11, 11-8, 14-12 after an 88-minute battle to go past RK Narpat Singh’s feat of 10 titles, won from 1946 to 1955.

“We have played five national finals. We played well right through. There was very little to separate us. It’s hardest to play Harinder Pal. It was one of the most enjoyable and high quality matches I have played,” said Ghosal after his triumph.

It was also his second successive five-game match after having got past third seed Vikram Malhotra in the semi-finals.





  • Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu bt Mahesh Mangaokar 6-11, 13-11, 6-11, 11-8, 11-8;
  • Saurav Ghosal bt Vikram Malhotra 11-6, 5-11, 11-9, 11-9.


  • Joshna Chinappa bt Akanksha Salunkhe 11-6, 11-2, 11-4;
  • Dipika Pallikal bt Sachika Ingale 11-5, 11-1, 11-4.

Quarterfinals :

Men :

  • Saurav Ghosal bt Vijay Kumar 11-8,11-2,11-6;
  • Vikram Malhotra bt Kush Kumar 11-5, 8-11,10-12,11-9,11-7;
  • Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu bt Ravi Dixit 11-6,11-7,11-3;
  • Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Velavan Senthilkumar 11-4,11-6,11-6.

Women :

  • Joshana Chinappa bt Jui Kalgutkar 11-5 11-6 11-4;
  • Akanksha Salunkhe bt Urwashi Joshi 12-10 11-9 11-5;
  • Sachika Ingale bt Adya Advani 11-5,11-4,11-8;
  • Dipika Pallikal Karthik bt Lakshya Ragavendran 11-3 11-4 11-4;