Indian squash star Saurav Ghosal scripted history after he clinched the elusive bronze medal in the men’s singles at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, beating home favourite James Willstrop 3-0 (11-6, 11-1, 11-4) in the playoff match, here on Wednesday.
This was India’s first ever singles squash medal in the Commonwealth Games history in both men’s or women’s category.
India have now won only four medals in squash at the CWG. Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa won gold in women’s doubles in 2014 and a silver in 2018. Pallikal also won the mixed doubles silver with Ghosal in the same year.
The 35-year-old Ghosal outplayed Willstrop, the CWG 2018 gold-medallist, in the opening game, stretching every sinew to reach the Englishman’s trademark drops and responding with a few of his own to win the game.
In the second game, Willstrop, in his bid to get back to parity, took risks which did not come off and the veteran Indian comfortably took the game.
With the crowd cheering every move of Willstrop, Ghosal showed no pressure as he stuck to his plans in the third game, extending the rallies and maintaining composure to win the match in straight games and fulfil a long-standing dream.
Meanwhile, the pair of Joshna Chinappa/Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu advanced to the mixed doubles round of 16 after beating Sri Lankan pair Yeheni Kuruppu/Ravindu Laksiri 2-1 (8-11, 11-4, 11-3). They will now face Australia’s Donna Lobban and Cameron Pilley.
On the other hand, Sunayna Kuruvilla won the plate final in the women’s singles after beating Guyana’s Mary Fung-A-Fat 3-0 (11-7, 13-11, 11-2).