Five Indians in quarters of British Open squash
Indians enjoyed a successful outing at the British Junior Open squash championship here with as many as five players making the quarter-finals in various categories.
Mahesh Mangaonkar (Under-19), Kush Kumar (U-17) and Velavan Senthil Kumar (U-15) in the boys section, and Aparajita Balamurukan and Lakshya Ragavendran in the Girls Under-19 section entered the round of eight with contrasting victories on Thursday.
Unseeded and first time British Junior entrant, Lakshya fought back from a 0-2 deficit to win her pre-quarterfinal match against 5/8 seed Emilia Soini from Finland.
The biggest upset of the day was when 9/16 seed Aparajitha knocked out 3/4 seed Salma Esmat (Egypt) 7-11, 11-9, 11-5, 6-11, 11-9 to reach the quarter-finals.
There was further joy for India. Mangaonkar scored a comfortable victory while Kush Kumar had to sweat it out before overcoming 9/16 seed Youseff Soliman (Egypt) and Velavan played brilliantly to win a five-game tussle against Charlie Lee from England.
“This is my 10th year at the Open and for the first time ever we have five players in the quarter finals. We have had super success today. Let us hope we can continue this tomorrow,” said National Coach Cyrus Poncha.