Indian Squash players Saurav Ghosal, Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa lost their respective semifinal matches and all settled for bronze medals at the Asian Games 2018.
Dipika Pallikal lost her match by 0-3 against Nicol Ann David of Malaysia. Joshna Chinappa settles for bronze after losing 1-3 in the women’s singles semifinals against Sivasangari Subramaniam of Malaysia. The last hope for India was Saurav Ghosal. But he too lost his Men’s Singles semi-final match by 2-3 against Au Chun Ming of Hong Kong despite leading 2-0.
The Squash squad was bogged down by controversy before leaving for the Asian Games. The Squash Racket Federation of India’s (SRFI) inability to find a full-time head coach after the exit of Egyptian Achraf El Karargui had affected the Indian team’s preparations. This had led the players to prepare individually in different parts of the world. Saurav Ghosal and Joshna Chinappa trained in England while Dipika Pallikal went to Egypt to train with Karargui.
Cyrus Poncha is the national coach on paper but the players refused to train under him. Poncha and former national champion Bhuvneshwari Kumari travelled with the team to Jakarta but that was of little help for the players. Still, India won three bronze and added to the medal tally.