It proved to be so near, yet so far for reigning champion Harinder Pal Sandhu as he went down fighting to his senior and far experienced Saurav Ghosal in five thrilling games in the men’s final of the SBT-63rd senior national squash championship here on Sunday.
Two games up and again 6-2 up in the fourth game, Harinder seemed to have got into the groove for another tilt at the title, but the wily Ghosal is a different player under pressure. He proved it with an outstanding fight back and lunging ahead in the decisive final game. Ghosal thus helped himself to his tenth national title.
The women’s final too was well contested though the scoreline would not suggest that. Joshna Chinappa showed experience mattered in the final analysis while dousing the enthusiasm and challenge of national junior champion Harshit Kaur Jawanda. This was Joshna’s 14th national title as she is well on way to reach that magical number of 16, which is the number of titles that Bhuveneswari Kumari had won for a record total.
Men: Saurav Ghosal (TN) bt Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (TN) 8-11 4-11 11-6 11-7 11-6
Women: Joshana Chinappa (TN) bt Harshit Kaur Jawanda (Del) 11-6 12-10 11-5
Professionals: Parthiban Ayyapan (TN) bt Abhishek Agarwal (Mah) 8-11 11-4 11-7 11-4
Men Over 35: Saurabh Nayar (Chand) bt Cyrus Poncha (TN) 11-9 11-1 11-1
Men Over 40: Rishad Pandole (Mah) bt Vikas Nayar (Chand) 11-8 11-8 11-6
Men Over 45: Sanjay Rajpal (Karna) bt Rohit Thawani (Mah)11-7 6-11 4-11 11-9 11-8
Men Over 50: Jaideep Grewal (Chand) bt Sriram Rao (Mah) 11-7 11-8 11-7
Men Over 55: Arun Rabindranath (Karna) bt Vaman Apte (mah) 9-11 11-6 9-11 11-4 11-9