Glasgow: Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal combined brilliantly to clinch gold in the women’s doubles final and give India their first squash medal in the Commonwealth Games after the pair outplayed Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro of England here on Saturday.
Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa
The fifth-seeded Indian pair made short work of their English opponents with a 11-6 11-8 win in the best-of-three game final.
The Indians though looked in some trouble in Game 2 when they trailed 7-2 at one point, but some incredible drop shots from Pallikal and Chinappa made the win look easy in the end.
Duncalf and Massaro were no match for the absolutely in-sync pair of Chinappa and Pallikal, who moved rhythmically in the glass show court at the Scotstoun Campus Squash arena.
India’s Dipika Pallikal plays a shot during the squash final at CWG Glasgow on Saturday. Pics/Getty Images
The English duo played traditional squash with no variety at all and played the doubles match with a ‘singles’ mindset against the Indian players, which seems to have mastered the doubles game. Duncalf and Massaro had settled for silver in the 2010 edition of the Games in Delhi.
England though took consolation from the fact that Alison Waters and Emma Beddoes thrashed Kasey Brown and Rachael Grinham of Australia to take bronze and keep the nation firmly atop the medals tally.
Pallikal and Chinappa hope this medal will give squash some recognition in India.
Pallikal said: “We are really excited, not only for us but for Indian squash in general. We have been in the shadows for a very long time and hopefully this can open up to a lot of girls.”
Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa (right) celebrate winning the final
Said Chinappa: “Hopefully this will bring more recognition to squash in India. It’s definitely growing leaps and bounds but hopefully now, winning a medal, the government will be that much more excited about the sport as well.”
Chinappa admitted that they always respected their opponents and took one game at a time.
“We were always taking it one match at a time because all the players are really good. A lot of them have been medallists previously,” said Chinappa after the win.