The Indian Squash Academy honoured its famous ward Dipika Pallikal on Saturday on her being conferred the Arjuna Award. It was at the ISA that Dipika’s squash career began.

A plaque expressing ISA’s appreciation on her achievement was presented to her by the SDAT Member Secretary, M. Vijayakumar, who highlighted in his brief speech, Dipika’s brilliant rise to World No. 14.

“On behalf of the Government and all of us, we wish you rise to become the top player in the world,” he said amidst cheers from the small gathering.

Earlier, the national coach Cyrus Poncha gave a brief on the Chennai player’s career and pointed out that she had made tremendous strides in just six years on the professional circuit.

“Dipika won the Asian singles title, guided India to a title-win in the Asian championship and also helped India finish with a silver medal in the U-21 World Cup, held in Chennai,” he said.

On behalf of the players Aparajitha Balamurukan conveyed the players’ sense of happiness on her achievement.

In her reply, Dipika said, “I enjoy the game and that is why I have reached where I am today.”

Also present on the occasion were the SRFI Secretary-General Srivatsan Subramanian and SRFI Consultant Maj. S. Maniam. — Special Correspondent

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