The Sports Ministry has approved the engagement of two-time World Squash Championships medallist Chris Walker as Foreign Coach for the Indian team for the Asian Games later this year.
Walker, who represented England in Squash and Cycling, will be engaged for 16 weeks.
A former England captain, Walker’s appointment was recommended by the Sports Authority of India’s (SAI) Selection Committee and officials of the Squash Racquet Federation of India. With Mark Cairns, he won the inaugural World Doubles Squash Championships in 1997. Having moved base to the United States, he rose to be the National Coach of the American team.
“I couldn’t be more excited about working with Team India in such an important year with the run-up to the World Doubles, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games,” he said in a statement.
“I will be working closely with the Federation, and I want to help all the Indian Squash team players prepare absolutely the best they can to play their best squash at these upcoming events. I am really looking forward to the year ahead.”
He won bronze medals in the 1993 and 1996 World Open Squash Championships and was part of the England teams that claimed silver medals in the World Team Championships in 1995 and 1997. He has Commonwealth Games doubles bronze medals in 1998 and 2002. He also represented England in Cycling in the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.
The Indian men’s team comprising Saurav Ghoshal, Ramit Tandon and Mahesh Mangaokar recently finished runner-up in the Asian Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur. The women’s squad, with Joshna Chinappa, Sunayna Kuruvilla and Urwashi Joshi made it to the semi-finals. India is looking to secure better returns in the two major events this year.
The Commonwealth Games are due to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8 and the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, from September 10 to 25.
India won two silver medals in the Commonwealth Games 2018 through doubles pairs, Dipika Pallikal Karthik partnering Joshna Chinappa in women’s doubles and Saurav Ghoshal in mixed doubles. India finished the Asian Games 2018 with five medals, including a silver (women’s team) and four bronze medals in three events.
PSA world rankings of Indian players:
Men: Saurav Ghoshal (16), Ramit Tandon (50), Mahesh Mangaonkar (51), Vikram Malhotra (71) and Velavan Senthilkumar (122).
Women: Joshna Chinappa (10), Tanvi Khanna (77), Sunayna Kuruvilla (108), Akanksha Salunkhe (157), Urwashi Joshi (169).