India secure bronze in World Doubles Squash Championships
The Indian women’s team comprising the country’s top stars - Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal - had to settle for the bronze medal at the WSF World Doubles Squash Championships 2017 held at the National Squash Centre in Manchester on Friday. The second seeded team of Chinappa and Pallikal squandered a one-game lead to go down fighting 11-6, 6-11, 8-11 to the fifth seeds Jenny Duncalf and Alison Waters in a 49 minute battle in the semi-finals.
This is India’s lone medal from the prestigious mixed team championships this year.
The Indian girls were looking good to progress into the final. But the English pair tightened their defence towards the end, denying the second seeds any chance of victory.
India were aiming for three medals
The Indian contingent was aiming for three medals on Day 4 of the event with two Indian pairs in contention in the quarter-finals of the mixed section. However, both of them had to bite the dust, leaving Joshna and Dipika’s team as the only one to bring home a medal.
The sixth seeds Chinappa and Vikram Malhotra looked all set for a win when they led the fourth seeded Australians David Palmer and Rachael Grinham by a game. The Indians again were within sniffing distance of victory with a 9-7 advantage in the decider.
However, they were unable to grab their chances and ultimately fell 11-8, 9-11, 9-11.
Similar was the fate of the second seeds Saurav Ghosal and Pallikal. In a repeat of last year’s summit clash, they faced the top seeds, Joelle King and Paul Coll. The Kiwis had finished second best in the league phase which necessitated this early meeting between the top two seeds at this competition.
The top seeds looked in control as they cruised to a game lead. The Indians staved off a late comeback from the Kiwi pair to eke out the second game by clinching the sudden death point.
The two teams were on an even keel in the decider till 7-7 following which King and Coll accelerated to the finish line, dashing the hopes of the Indians with an 11-7, 10-11, 11-9 win.
Earlier on Thursday, the Indian men’s duo of Malhotra and Mahesh Mangaonkar could not advance beyond the group stage.