Asian Squash championship: Ghosal and Joshna script historyMay 6, 2019, Chennai
Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa emerged champions in the Asian squash championship here on Sunday. This is the first time two Indians have finished on top in the same tournament.
An unprecedented feat that eluded the Indians in Chennai two years ago became a reality in Malaysia when Joshna, the second seed, successfully defended her title shocking the top seed Annie Au of Hong Kong 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6.
Soon after, Ghosal, the top seed and finalist last year, ensured there was no slip-up this time when he downed the fourth seed Leo Au Chun Ming, also of Hong Kong, 11-9, 11-2, 11-8.
Joshna, who had lost to Annie in the Macau Open last month and seen her head-to-head record drop to 12 losses in 20 meetings, played with purpose and conviction. Though she suffered a blip in the second, she recovered to win the next two in style.
In the men’s summit clash, Ghosal proved the master. Except for a brief period in the first and third games, there was little the Hong Kong player could do to match the Indian who achieved his maiden success at this level.
“Happy to win the Asian title for the first time. I had come close in the past, so it is hugely satisfying to finally win it. Hopefully, this will lead to further success in the future,” said Ghosal.
“I thought I really played well in the final. I had lost to Annie a few times prior to this and so I had come prepared. Most importantly, I found the length and that was the key. I am very happy to defend the title,” said Joshna.
“Winning two titles is an achievement that has come for the first time. I congratulate Saurav and Joshna and wish them more success in their endeavours in the future,” said N. Ramachandran, Patron, Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI).
National coach Cyrus Poncha said: “What was missed two years ago has been done for the first time. It is a massive achievement.”
The results (finals):
Women: Joshna Chinappa bt Annie Au (Hkg) 11-5, 8-11, 11-6, 11-6.
Men: Saurav Ghosal bt Leo Au Chun Ming 11-9, 11-2, 11-8.