Commonwealth Games 2014 Other Sports

Dipika and Joshna create history

Glasgow: England's Jenny Duncalf, right, and Laura Massaro, second left, in action against India's Dipika Pallikal, left, and Joshana Chinappa during their women's doubles squash match during the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, Saturday. PTI Photo (PTI8_2_2014_000163A)   | Photo Credit: PTI

The Indian pair of Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal created history when they overcame the odds to upset the top-seeded English pair of Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro and win the squash women’s doubles gold medal of the 20th Commonwealth Games at the Scotstoun squash complex here on Saturday.

The fifth-seeded Indian pair proved too strong for their English opponents as they claimed the country’s first ever Games medal in the sport with an easy 11-6, 11-8 win in just 28 minutes.

Joshna and Dipika, both from Chennai, came out firing as they raced to the opening game in just 11 minutes. The English pair threatened to make a comeback in the second game, going up 7-2 but their rivals won nine of the next 10 points to complete their historic win.

It meant a second consecutive silver medal in the event for Duncalf and Massaro who had not lost even a single game en route to the final.

The Indian duo had shown their potential with an 11-9, 7-11, 11-4 win over the experienced Australian pairing of Kasey Brown and Rachael Grinham, the second seeds, in the semifinals on Friday.

Understandably, the two Indian players were quite excited on seeing their dream come true. “We were always taking it one match at a time because all the players are really good. I don’t think we started very strong in the second and they really took advantage of that,” said Joshna.

“They had some great shots and we had a few errors but we really did not want to go to a third game and we switched back on,” added Joshna.

Dipika, on being 2-7 down, in the second game felt that she and Joshna had the belief that they could do it. “We never wanted to let go of any point. And I guess that is what made the difference.

“We could come out 1-1 and a third game would have been very tough. I think the desire kept us going. We are really excited, not only for us but Indian squash in general. “We have been in the shadows for a very long time and hopefully this can open up to a lot of girls,” the 22-year-old said.

Major S. Maniam, the coach, was delighted that the Indians had played to a plan with perfection. “At this level what counts is how well the players combine. Joshna and Dipika showed good aggression and were sharp. That made the difference. This is a success that I will cherish for long.”

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Printable version | Jun 23, 2021 5:16:05 PM |

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