Asian Games 2023: While the men's team blanked Nepal 3-0 in its final pool tie, the women were handed a 0-3 loss by Malaysia in their last pool B fixture
Indian women's squash team (Pic: @SAI_Media/X)
Indian men's and women's teams assured themselves of medals at the Asian Games after progressing to the semifinals of the squash events on Thursday.
While the men's team blanked Nepal 3-0 in its final pool tie, the women were handed a 0-3 loss by Malaysia in their last pool B fixture. Thursday's 0-3 defeat against Malaysia before the semifinal fixture is a major setback for India after talented players such as Joshna Chinnappa, Anahat Singh, Dipika Pallikal, and Tanvi Khanna, displayed their dominance on the court and raised hopes of a gold medal, in previous Pool B ties.
Both teams sealed top two spots in their respective pools to make the semifinals which guarantees them at least a bronze.
The Indian women's team began the day with veteran Joshna Chinappa enduring a 6-11, 2-11, 8-11 defeat to Subramaniam Sivasangari in 21 minutes.
In the second match, Tanvi Khanna squandered a 2-1 lead before going down to Commonwealth Games gold medallist Aifa Binti Azman 9-11, 11-1, 7-11, 13-11, 11-5.
However, in the second game, she displayed remarkable resiliency and defeated Azman Aifa Binti, winning the opening game 11-9. The Malaysian player rallied to win the following two games to take a 2-1 match advantage.
At the conclusion of the fourth game, Tanvi fought her way back to even the score at 2-2. Azman overcame Tanvi 11-5 in the fifth game to win the match and give Malaysia a 2-0 lead in the tie.
In the concluding league match, 15-year-old Anahat Singh went down to Malaysia's Rachel Mae Arnold in straight sets (7-11, 7-11, 12-14). Despite Anahat's aggressive play in the third game, Arnold won the final match 14-12 to seal a 3-0 victory.
In the men's team event, Abhay Singh defeated Amrit Thapa Magar 11-2, 11-4, 11-1 in 17 minutes.
In the second match, Mahesh Mangaonkar thrashed Arhant Keshar Simha 11-2, 11-3, 11-3 also in a 17-minute affair
Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu then completed the whitewash by beating Amir Bhlon 11-1, 11-2, 11-6 in just 12 minutes.
The Indian team will compete in a semifinal matchup in an effort to improve the colour of their medal on Friday.
The Indian team will be in action in the semifinal on Friday and will hope to better the colour of its medal.
(With agency inputs)