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Updated: September 26, 2013 01:02 IST

Joshna rues lost chance for squash

V. V. Subrahmanyam
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National squash champion Joshna Chinappa and Indian footballer Gouramanghi Singh at a promotional event in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu
THE HINDU National squash champion Joshna Chinappa and Indian footballer Gouramanghi Singh at a promotional event in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

The sport missed out on a chance to be in the Olympics, losing to wrestling

Joshna Chinappa is to squash what Sania Mirza is to tennis and Saina Nehwal to badminton in terms of inspiration to the budding talent, especially amongst girls.

But, this star was in a sombre mood at a promotional event for Nike on Wednesday night as her sport missed out a chance to be in the Olympics.

“It is disappointing squash will not be there in Olympics. We sportspersons work really hard and also feel a sense of pride when we represent our country at the highest level,” the national champion from Chennai remarked on the sidelines of the function.

“I am sure wrestling deserved an entry into Olympics. It would have been fantastic if squash is also included. It is a setback for all squash players but I am still hopeful of it making to Olympics very soon,” says the 26-year-old Joshna, the first Indian girl to win the British Championship in 2003 and the youngest ever national women’s champion.

Efforts to promote

The World No. 32 is also glad that lot of efforts are being made to promote the sport. “Getting Arjuna Award was a very special feeling. Especially, when you receive it from the President of India. These are the gestures which lift the morale of any sportsperson and give you a feeling of sense of achievement. I hope to bring more laurels to the country in the days to come,” Joshna said to a query.

Rising football star

Giving her company at the promotional event was a relatively low-profile Indian footballer Gouramanghi Singh, adjudged the best defender in the Indian football league only a couple of years.

“I wish Indian football reaches bigger heights in the days to come,” says Imphal-born soccer star, who made the centre-back position his own with great consistency.

“I am looking forward to a three-week stint abroad. There are quite a few offers around,” remarked the soft-spoken star Indian defender.

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