Veteran Indian squash player Saurav Ghosal broke the jinx of a singles medal in squash at the ongoing Commonwealth Games (CWG 2022) in Birmingham on Wednesday (August 3).
The 2018 mixed-doubles silver medalist defeated former World No. 1 and local favorite James Willstrop (3-0 11-6, 11-1, 11-4) to win India's first singles CWG medal in squash.
The 35-year-old, who is ranked 15 in the world, was calm and collected throughout the match and outclassed the Englishman in all aspects of the game, from court coverage to placement of his shots. He scripted history by winning the singles medal in his fourth CWG appearance.
Ghosal made a solid comeback in the bronze medal clash after suffering a defeat at the hands of World No. 2 Paul Coll of New Zealand, 11-9, 11-4, 11-1 in the men's singles semi-finals on August 2.
Ghosal was in tears after defeating his arch nemesis and six-time World Championships medalist James Willstrop to win his second successive and first singles squash medal.
"I'm just so happy that after all these years, I've managed to pull through" - Saurav Ghosal
A teary Ghosal jumped into the crowd to greet his family. He even acknowledged Willstrop’s influence in his life. Talking to the media after the historic feat, Ghosal said:
"I'm just so happy that after all these years, I've managed to pull through. He’s (2018 CWG champion Willstrop) my best friend in life but to do it at this stage, winning India’s first individual Commonwealth Games medal…”
Ghosal will next be seen in action at the mixed doubles event, which will commence on August 4. He will be competing in the event with Dipika Pallikal.
Speaking about this, Ghosal said:
"Hopefully we can go all the way and win the gold for India."