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Asian Games 2018: Sourav done in by leg pain

No surprise: Dipika Pallikal’s best efforts were not good enough to beat Ann Nicol David.

No surprise: Dipika Pallikal’s best efforts were not good enough to beat Ann Nicol David.   | Photo Credit: PTI

Joshna and Dipika also fail to cross the semifinal hurdle

Despite having the top Asian, it will just be a bronze in the men’s singles squash at the Asiad.

Sourav Ghosal, the silver medallist at the last Asiad and the top seed, appeared to be heading for his second consecutive final when he won the first two games, but pain in his left leg did him in.

He could not finish the job and lost 10-12, 11-13, 11-6, 11-5, 11-6 to Hong Kong’s Au Chun Ming in the semifinals.

The two women in the fray, Joshna Chinnappa and Dipika Pallikal, also failed to cross the semifinal hurdle and India finished the singles events with three bronze medals.

There were no surprises as Malaysia’s multiple World champion Nicol David defeated Dipika 11-7, 11-9, 11-6, while another Malaysian, Sivasangari Subramaniam, ended Joshna’s hopes with a 10-12, 6-11, 11-9, 11-7 victory.

Chun Ming, four years younger than Sourav at 28, came with an interesting bag of tricks and never let Ghosal stray too far. The first two games were close, but with Ghosal suffering pain in his leg, the Hong Kong player had it easy in the end.

“I don’t want to make excuses, but to beat a player like Chun you need to have high intensity which I had in the first two games. By the end of the second game, I was struggling with my left leg a little bit,” said Ghosal.

So, will that be a problem in the team events which begin on Monday?

“I don’t know how bad it is right now, I will have to wait and see,” said the 32-year-old, who helped India to the men’s team gold at the 2014 Incheon Asiad.

Joshna felt she had not capitalised on her good start and added that the officiating had let her down.

“I thought the refereeing was very dodgy on a lot of occasions. I’ve played with this referee in many matches and always had the same problem,” she said.

“That’s not the reason I lost, but definitely it can influence a lot of decisions especially when it is 8-7 (in the fourth game). But Siva played very well, all credit to her.”

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Printable version | May 30, 2020 2:37:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/asian-games-2018-sourav-done-in-by-leg-pain/article24782187.ece

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