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Once a Badminton Enthusiast, 15-Year-Old Anahat Singh is Now a Squash Prodigy

6-year-old Anahat, captivated by PV Sindhu's game at the India Open in Delhi, embarked on a journey with badminton

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The second-youngest national champion in squash, the second-youngest Indian medallist at the Asian Games and the youngest member of the Indian team at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Champion of the US, British, German, Dutch and Scottish Junior Opens.

Adorned with the laurels of triumph of the Asian Championship and the Asian Games - these are just a few of the numerous accolades that paint the remarkable achievements of 15-year-old Indian squash star Anahat Singh.  

The prodigious talent added another feather to her cap on Sunday, 8 January when she secured the coveted silver medal in the Girls U17 singles title at the prestigious British Junior Open.

The roots of Anahat's squash journey can be traced back to her family's love for sports. Born in a household resonating with echoes of hockey, her parents, Gursharan Singh and Tani Vadehra Singh, set the stage for her sports-filled upbringing.

6-year-old Anahat, captivated by PV Sindhu's game at the India Open in Delhi, embarked on a journey with badminton

Anahat Singh's career timeline.

GFX: The Quint

6-year-old Anahat, captivated by PV Sindhu's game at the India Open in Delhi, embarked on a journey with badminton

Anahat Singh's career timeline.

GFX: The Quint

6-year-old Anahat, captivated by PV Sindhu's game at the India Open in Delhi, embarked on a journey with badminton

Anahat Singh's career timeline.

GFX: The Quint

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How a PV Sindhu Fan Picked a Squash Racquet

Anahat’s innate talent quickly became apparent but interestingly, her initial rendezvous with sports wasn't with a squash racket but with a badminton shuttle - the six-year-old Anahat, captivated by PV Sindhu's game at the India Open in Delhi, embarked on a journey with badminton. 

Yet, fate had a different path for Anahat. At the age of eight, she transitioned to squash, a sport that would become her calling. Today, she stands as a testament to the unpredictable twists in the journey of a young athlete, from badminton courts to squash arenas.

While her roots in badminton remain a cherished part of her story, Anahat, with her squash racket in hand, is painting a unique and promising chapter in the vibrant canvas of Indian sports.

6-year-old Anahat, captivated by PV Sindhu's game at the India Open in Delhi, embarked on a journey with badminton

Anahat first played badminton before switching to squash at the age of eight.

Image: Twitter

“I started playing badminton and did well. But there wasn’t really one specific reason for me to switch from badminton to squash. Since it was really easier for my parents to travel for tournaments as my elder sister used to play squash and still does. So, I think I love both sports. Currently, I am doing well in squash and I wouldn’t trade anything for that,” Anahat would tell the media.

“We didn’t get to interact much then, but I am glad I could meet her. I would love to talk to her and interact with her properly soon,” she would say on her meeting with PV Sindhu at the opening ceremony of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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Dawn of Success

Under the guidance of her sister Amira, who’s recognized as one of the top-rated under-19 players in the country and the watchful eyes of Ashraf Hussein and Amjad Khan, two former national squash players, Anahat quickly became the next big thing in Indian squash.

She became India's top player in the under-11 division and moved on to the under-13 division, where she ruled both domestically and throughout Asia and Europe. When Anahat won the gold in the under-11 girls' division at the esteemed British Open squash event in 2019, she became the first-ever winner from India. Later that year, she repeated her success by winning a bronze in the Asian Junior Championships.

In 2020, she earned two more laurels - silver medals from the British and Malaysian Junior Open championships.

When the world pandemic struck, life stopped for a while, but Anahat's will never flickered - after overcoming adversity, the young athlete went back to the court and wrote a new chapter in Indian squash history in 2021.

6-year-old Anahat, captivated by PV Sindhu's game at the India Open in Delhi, embarked on a journey with badminton

India's Anahat Singh with team-mate Abhay Singh won a bronze medal in mixed doubles squash event at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou.

Image: Hangzhou2022.cn

Anahat Singh became the first Indian woman to be declared a US Open champion in any age class when she won the junior (under-15) squash championship at the US Open 2021 in the suburbs of Philadelphia.
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2022: A Tapestry of Triumphs

The German and Dutch Open titles landed in Anahat Singh's trophy cabinet in a flurry of triumphs, dazzling her expanding collection. The crescendo of success reached new heights when she clinched the under-15 gold at the Asian junior squash championships in Thailand.

Anahat carved out a bright path to the national camp in Chennai thanks to her winning run which saw her earn a spot on the Indian squash squad headed for the Birmingham Games.

The teenage prodigy then skillfully danced her way to the quarterfinals of the girls' singles at the 2022 World Junior Squash Championships. Her path came to a difficult crossroads when she faced two years her senior, Egypt's Fayrouz Abouelkheir.

Competing as the youngest member of the Indian team in the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, Anahat not only did she win her first major senior tournament at the age of 14, defeating St. Vincent and the Grenadines' Jada Ross in the round of 64, but she also showed tenacity in the face of adversity. In the next round, she was beaten 3-1 by Emily Whitlock of Wales. But she didn't stop there; with her partner Sunayna Kuruvilla, she created waves in the women's doubles as well, making it to the second round.
6-year-old Anahat, captivated by PV Sindhu's game at the India Open in Delhi, embarked on a journey with badminton

Anahat Singh in action during the 2023 Asian Games.

Image: Hangzhou2022.cn

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From Start to End, Symphony of Success in 2023

Anahat had a triumphant start to 2023 with her elegant and fluid approach; she won the girls' under-15 British Junior Open Squash championship by defeating Sohaila Hazem of Egypt. 

The young star added another jewel to her expanding collection of victories in August 2023 at the Asian Junior Squash Championships in Dalian, China when she captured the under-17 title with elegance and talent. She outperformed her rivals and triumphed over Hong Kong's Ena Kwong in an exciting final.

In the vibrant arena of the 2023 Asian Games, the Delhi kid glittered brightly in Hangzhou as she proved her mettle in the women's team and mixed doubles competitions by winning two bronze medals. Before Sanjana Bathula made headlines, she was the youngest Indian to win a medal at the Asian Games, at just 15 years, 6 months, and 16 days.

6-year-old Anahat, captivated by PV Sindhu's game at the India Open in Delhi, embarked on a journey with badminton

Anahat Singh emerged victorious in the Girls' Under-19 category at the Scottish Junior Open.

Image: Twitter

Anahat's historic moment came in November 2023 when she became the second-youngest Indian to be crowned national champion in squash. After Tanvi Khanna, her opponent, withdrew midway from the final due to an injury, she won the title.

Tanvi defeated Anahat 9–11 in the opening game. Anahat then took the lead in the second set 6-4 and Tanvi decided to give up, making Anahat the youngest champion in 23 years. After being defeated by Joshna Chinappa in 2022, Anahat became the National Squash Champion only in her second appearance.

Anahat ended 2023 on a high note, winning the girls' under-19 title in Edinburgh after soaring to victory in the Scottish Junior Open with an 11-6, 11-1, 11-5 over home favourite Robyn McAlpine in the final.
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Silver Start to 2024

6-year-old Anahat, captivated by PV Sindhu's game at the India Open in Delhi, embarked on a journey with badminton

Anahat Singh finished runner-up in the girls’ under-17 category at the British Junior Open squash 2024.

Image: Twitter

Anahat had a silver start to the year 2024 as she lost to Egypt’s second seed Nadien Elhammamy and won silver medal in the Girl’s U17 singles title of the British Junior Open on Sunday, 8 January.

Anahat gave it her best throughout the intense 68-minute match. She won the opening game 11–7, but Elhammamy rallied to win the following two in tiebreaks, 13–11 and 12–10. Unfazed, the young Indian won 11-5 in the fourth game, forcing a thrilling decider. A closely fought match concluded with an 11-9 victory for the Egyptian in the fifth game.

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Topics:  Squash   anahat singh 

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