Squash: Ghosal, Joshna annex titles

Jaipur, Aug 23 (IANS) Playing true their reputation, top seeds Saurav Ghoshal and Joshna Chinappa annexed the singles crown in the men's and women's section, respectively, at the 61st senior National Squash championship here Friday.

Ghosal, the World No.20, gave Mahesh Mangaonkar no chance at all and posted a facile 11-2, 11-1, 11-7 victory in about half an hour to win his record ninth national title and pocketed prize money of Rs.1 lakh.

Likewise, in the women's final, Joshna had a cakewalk victory over youngster Aprarajita Balmurukan 11-8, 11-9, 11-6, to add 12th national crown to her kitty which is already full of achievements at national and international levels.

The title clash between Saurav and Mahesh began with a long beautiful rally which raised the hopes that the youngster would be up to the challenge. However, the tide went the other way and with Saurav in full flow, it became a one-sided affair.

In first two games, Saurav opened a sizable leads to win at 11-2, 11-1. The third game saw Mahesh taking the first point and went neck and neck, but Saurav subdued his challenge to win 11-7 to race to his ninth national title.

Praising the youngster, the seasoned Saurav said: "It was not that easy. The scores suggests that it was one-sided affair, but Mahesh played quite well and showed his potential. I was trying out few things, but he was also good."

It was always going to be easy for Joshna as World No.14 Deepika Pallikal and Anaka Alankamony had kept away from the tournament due to personal reasons.

Joshna, who did not lose a set in her quest, took about 30 minutes to dispose off the challenge of Aparajita. It was Aparajita who took the initial lead in first two games, but Joshna did not have to exert to post a comfortable win.

"I was not complacent. I knew that with Deepika was not here and I would play against youngsters. Still, I don't take things for granted. The girls need more exposure to come good at higher levels," said Joshna.

The results:

Men's singles (final): 1-Saurav Ghosal (TN) bt Mahesh Mangaonkar (Mah) 11-2 11-1 11-7. For 3-4 positions: 2-Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (TN) bt Ravi Dixit (TN) 12-10 11-5 11-5. For 5-6 positions: Gaurav Nandrajog (Delhi) bt Sandeep Jangra (Services) 11-9 10-12 11-1 10-12 11-8. For 7-8 positions: Vrishab Kotian (Mah) bt Vikas Jangra (Indian Navy) 11-7 4-11 7-11 11-9 11-5.

Women's singles (final): 1-Joshana Chinappa (TN) bt 2-Aparajitha Balamurukan (TN) 11-8 11-9 11-6. For 3-4 positions: Sachika Ingale (Delhi) bt Janet Vidhi (Delhi) 11-8 11-6 11-2. For 5-6 positions: Jannat Duhan (Chd) bt Tarunima (Raj) 12-10 11-7 8-11 11-9. For 7-8 positions: Nandika (Raj) bt Neha Kumari (Bihar) 11-0 11-1 11-1.

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