The Indian squash team won a gold and a silver medal at the 16th Asian Junior Team Championships which concluded on Sunday.
The Indian girls beat Hong Kong China 2-1 in a close tie.
Lakshya Ragavendran, the hero of Indian team in the semifinal, where she won the decider against Malaysia, played the first match. She was out of sorts and failed to match the pace of a relentless attacking player in Ho Tze Lok.
Her team trailing, the most consistent Indian player, Anaka Alankamony stamped her authority over Hong Kong number one player Ho Ka Po 3-0 in quick time. The stage was then set for an exciting thriller.
Aparajitha Balamurukan, who did not have a good match in the semifinals, was thoroughly charged up for the final. From the word go, Aparajitha played a high-paced attacking game laced with some delicate drops every now and then.
Aparajitha never relented as she won the decider 3-0 and got India their second win at the Asian Junior Women’s Team Championship after a 10-year wait.
The Indian boys faced their Pakistani counterparts immediately after the girls’ final match and lost 0-2. Deepak Mishra played the first match and never really got going as he lost in straight games.
Mahesh Mangaonkar was then up against Ali Bokhari. It was an extremely physical match with both players testing each other’s resolve.
It was touch and go with both players sharing the first four games. In the fifth, it was neck and neck upto the halfway point before Ali reeled off winners to take the match and title.
Results: Girls’ Final: India bt Hong Kong China (2-1) -- Lakshya Ragavendran lost to Ho Tze Lok 6-11, 4-11, 6-11; Anaka Alankamony bt Ho Ka Po 11-4, 11-5, 11-6; Aparajitha Balamurukan bt Choi Uen Shan 11-7, 11-9, 11-9;
Boys’ Final: Pakistan bt India (2-0); Bilal Zakir bt Deepak Mishra 11-7, 11-6, 11-9; Syed Ali Mujtaba bt Mahesh Mangoankar 11-5, 5-11, 9-11, 11-6, 11-7; Ammad Fareed vs Kush Kumar (match withdrawn).
Keywords: 16th Asian Junior Team Championships