The senior National squash championship for men and women will be held at the Indian Squash Academy here from December 5 to 10. The first two days will feature the qualification rounds.

According to a SRFI press release, a record entry of 117 for the men's qualification event has been registered. In all a total of 242 players from 16 States have entered this prestigious championship to be hosted by the Tamil Nadu Squash Rackets Association.

It will be a 16-player main draw for men and a 32-player for women. Defending champion Saurav Ghosal is the star in the men's section and is seeded No. 1 while in the women's section in the absence of defending champion Joshna Chinappa, who is recovering after a knee surgery, the world's highest ranked Indian (No. 17), Dipika Pallikal will take the top billing.

Other events to take place in the championship are the men's master's categories (over 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55) and the professionals (full-time coaches).

The total prize money being offered is Rs. 5,67,500. The men's winner will take Rs.1 lakh and the women's Rs. 40,000. Srivatsan Subramaniam, Secretary General of SRFI expressed happiness over the increased number of entries in the women's section.

Other winners last year:

Professionals: Paramit Singh; Over 35: Manish Chottrani (former National Champion); Over 40: Raja Parthasarthy; Over 45: Rohit Thawani; Over 50: Vaman Apte; Over 55: B.I. Singh.

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