Laymen often consider Squash as the step-brother of tennis. It might not be the most talked about sport in an average household, but squash remains one of the most hotly contested events in world meets. The indoor sport is played between two (singles) or four (team) players. This racquet sport derives its name from the soft squishy ball with which it is played.
Squash made its entry into the Asian Games during its 12th edition at Bangkok. It had started off with Men’s and Women’s Singles competitions, with the team events being added to this sport from 2010.
The 2018 Asian Games squash competition will be held at the Gelora Bung Karno Hall in Jakarta. The indoor hall has one Show Court (9.75m x 6.4m) and one glass black standard court of the same dimensions.
2018 Asian Games Squash teams
Squash heavyweights Malaysia, Hong Kong, South Korea, Pakistan and India are joined by Philippines, Indonesia, Macau, Sri Lanka, Japan, Thailand, Qatar, Iran, Mongolia and Nepal.
Individual participants will play for the Men’s and Women’s single titles, while each country would be represented by two players for the team events.
The Asian Games 2018 Squash event will commence on 23rd August and finish on 1st September 2018. The tournament starts with the Men’s and Women’s Round of 32, followed by the Round of 16 on the same day. The quarter finals would begin the next day, semi-finals the day after, and the gold medal would be contested on 26th August. Men’s singles and Women’s singles would run in parallel.
For the team matches, the countries have been divided into two pools.
For the women’s team, Pool A contains Malaysia, South Korea, Japan, Philippines and Pakistan. Pool B comprises of Hong Kong, Iran, India, China, Indonesia and Thailand.
For the men’s team, Pool A contains Hong Kong, Pakistan, South Korea, Japan, Philippines and Nepal. Pool B comprises of India, Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore, Indonesia and Thailand.
The pool matches will be played in a round-robin format starting from 27th August. Top four teams from each men’s pool would face in the quarter finals on 30th August. Top two teams from each women’s pool would start the semi-finals on 31st August. The final for both teams would be held on 1st September, 2018.
Asian Games 2018 favorites
Squash queen and the highest ranked Asian, Nicol Ann David leads the Malaysian contingent which also has multiple medal winner Wee Wern Low. Hong Kong, Pakistan and India have strong candidates but will have an uphill task of they want to overthrow Malaysia from its perch.
Hong Kong’s Annie AU, India’s Dipika Pallikal Karthik and Joshna Chinappa might turn things around. Lee Yo Hin, Lee AU from Hong Kong, India’s Saurav Ghosal and Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu will be the players to watch out for in the Men’s division. India are the reigning champions in the Men’s team event, and Malaysia in the women’s.
Although Squash isn’t exactly India’s go to sport for medals, the reigning Men’s Team Champions might pack quite a surprise. Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Karthik are veterans in this sport, and can lead the others to the ultimate glory.