Joshna Chinappa Confident India Can Win a Medal in Squash Doubles at CWG 2022


India’s top woman squash player Joshna Chinappa on Tuesday said the country has a great chance of winning a medal in doubles at the upcoming Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

“This is one of the best Indian teams. Saurav Ghosal and myself have been playing on the pro tours for a number of years. We are still in the top-20 in the world. We (India) definitely have a great chance of winning a medal in doubles,” Chinappa told reporters on the sidelines of an event to announce new initiatives as part of the HCL-SRFI squash podium programme.

While Chinappa is ranked 17 among women, Ghosal is no.15 among men. The 35-year squash ace, who recently won the women’s doubles title at the World Doubles championship in Glasgow, also said she and Dipika Pallikal Karthik (with whom she triumphed in the worlds) are a very strong team.

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“First of all, it is great to have someone of the calibre of Greg (Gregory Gaultier) here. He is a former world champion. He is a former world No.1. He still plays at an unbelievably high level. He is one of the best trainers we have got in a very long time. His expertise and knowledge will definitely boost us. Sebastian (Bonmalais) plays on the pro tour. It is nice to have fresh inputs and fresh minds.

“The major part of our training was done in the last few months. As you get closer to the tournament, it is about sharpening the skills and playing a lot of matches. It has been great to share the court with both of them,” she added.

Chinappa said England and New Zealand would be the teams to watch out for in the CWG. “England is solid. New Zealand is really good. Then there are teams like Malaysia and South Africa. These are the countries we will have to keep an eye out for,” she added.

Asked about the now-postponed Hangzhou Asian Games, she said she was prepared to play in both (CWG and Asiad) but it was nice to have a bigger break to get fitter and stronger.

“I did not look at it (postponement of Asian Games) that way. I was prepared to play both (CWG and Asian Games). It is just unfortunate that it (Asian Games) will not happen this year. It is nice to have a bigger break to get fitter and stronger. In a way, it is good,” Chinappa added.

The Indian No.1 said she sees herself as a singles player and was looking forward to doing much better in it. “I have always looked at myself as a singles player first. Of course, I have had wonderful success with Dipika in doubles as well. But, I always train like a singles player. I am a singles player for the majority of my career. This Commonwealth Games, I am definitely looking forward to doing much better in singles too,” Chinappa said.

Meanwhile, top Indian men’s player Saurav Ghosal said the country has a realistic chance at the CWG. “We have realistic shots (chances) in three or four events men’s singles, women’s singles, women’s doubles and mixed doubles. We have put ourselves in the position to be able to have those chances. Now, it comes down to execution. Hopefully, it will all come together,” he added.

He said the players were preparing in the best way possible to produce medal-winning performances. “We started the camp just yesterday (Monday). I got back from America on Saturday. I was training there for three weeks. The last block of training is going pretty well. We are preparing the best way possible to produce medal-winning performances. Right now, we are in the home stretch of our preparation. We just need to keep the body and mind fresh so that we play the best possible squash which we are capable of. Hopefully, it will happen,” he added.

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