Neel Joshi falters in final hurdle at British Junior Open squashJanuary 7, 2018
CHENNAI: England’s Sam Todd defeated a spirited Neel Joshi 8-11, 16-14, 11-0, 14-12 to win the U-15 British Junior Open squash in Birmingham on Sunday evening.
It was Sam’s second title in the competition. In what was a heartening sight, Neel commenced the proceedings with a clinical 11-8 win in a tight opening game. But from thereon, Sam pulled things back and won the next game 16-14.
That was the momentum Sam needed as he ran away with the subsequent game 11-0 to take a decisive 2-1 lead in the proceedings. In the fourth and what proved to be the final game, Neel did try to pull things back and was in the hunt till the very end but Sam was able to raise his game when it mattered the most as he won the game 14-12 and with it the title.
The encounter would have lasted 37 minutes but it showed that the two finalists were not ready to give an inch to one another. While the first two games went down to the wire, the third surely saw Sam prove his mettle and Neel was given no chance to score in that game.
On Saturday, Neel had made it to the title round after registering a hard fought 13-11, 11-9, 5-11, 3-11, 11-8 victory over second seed Malaysian Muhammad Amir Aminul Azhar. It was for second year in a row that an Indian had made the final of British Open. In the 2017 edition of the competition,
Velavan Senthilkumar had gone on to grab top honours in the U-19 category. Apart from Neel, Tushar Shahani too had a fruitful outing in the U-17 category of the tournament.