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CWG 2022: Saurav Ghosal Wins India's First-Ever Singles Squash Medal at CWG

Commonwealth Games 2022: The World No 15 overcame his lower-ranked opponent 11-6, 11-1, 11-4.

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Ace Indian squash player Saurav Ghosal won a bronze medal in men’s singles after recording an easy 11-6, 11-1, 11-4 win over England’s James Willstrop at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham on Wednesday.

The World No 15 looked in complete control throughout the match as he overcame his lower-ranked opponent with relative ease in the bronze medal match.

Saurav created history in Birmingham as he handed India it's first-ever squash singles medal at the Commonwealth Games.

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With this win, Saurav finally bagged his maiden Commonwealth Games medal in the men's singles category.

The 35-year-old had already won a silver in the 2018 edition of the tournament alongside Dipika Pallikal in the mixed doubles event.

Ghosal had earlier on Tuesday suffered a 9-11, 4-11, 1-11 loss to World No 2 Paul Coll of New Zealand in the singles semi-final and had to face local boy Willstrop for a bronze medal match on Wednesday.

Ghosal, playing his fourth CWG, broke into tears after the play-off against the former World No 1. The medal meant the world to him and it came in probably his last appearance at CWG.

"I'm very very happy, it's a historic day for Indian squash. To be able to do this against a player of this calibre is very special. I'm happy that after all these years I have been able to win this," Ghosal said.

"This was one - a CWG singles medal - that was missing from my collection and I have played three CWGs before and to be able to pull through in my fourth attempt is even more special. I had to wait for so long," he added.

Ghosal proved too strong for his 38-year-old opponent who is also at the fag end of his illustrious career.

The Indian outclassed the Englishman in all aspects of the game, from court coverage to placement of his shots. Incidently, Ghosal trained under Willstrop's father Malcolm in Pontefract for many years.

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"I would like to dedicate this to my grandfather who passed away in 2020, he was very important to me and my grandmother.

"And also to Malcolm, who passed away last year. The player I am today is because of him. I trained with him for 10-15 years. I have practised with James a lot as well.

"Playing James, it's like master vs apprentice. Since he lost yesterday there have been waves of emotions that I have been trying to control in my head."

Former national coach and current team manager Cyrus Poncha, who watched Ghosal make history said," The first game lasted 18 minutes and was really intense. Ghosal being the younger of the two was much stronger."

"I thought yesterday he played even better in the semifinals. Years of hard work has led to this. It is a great day for Indian squash."

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Chinappa-Sandhu Pair Reach Pre-quarters

The mixed doubles pair of veteran Joshna Chinappa and Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu progressed to the pre-quarterfinals of the Commonwealth Games.

The immensely experienced Chinappa and her partner Sandhu downed Sri Lanka's Yeheni Kuruppu and Ravindu Laksiri 8-11, 11-4, 11-3.

The Indians were a bit shaky initially and ended up conceding the first game.

However, they quickly turned things around and made a strong comeback to bag the next two games without breaking much sweat.

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Sunayna Wins Women’s Singles Plate Final

Earlier in the day, Sunayna Kuruvilla defeated Fung-A-Fat of Guyana in the women's squash singles plate final.

Sunayna downed her Guyanese opponent 11-7, 13-11, 11-2 in what turned out to be a comfortable victory for the 23-year-old squash player.

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(With inputs from PTI)

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