Next big challenge is Asian Games: Pallikal

By NT Bureau Published on Apr 17, 2018 01:59 PM IST

Chennai: India's leading squash players, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal, returned to a warm welcome after winning silver medals at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

Joshna and Dipika had to settle for silver in the women's doubles competition, with Dipika also winning a historic silver in the mixed doubles with Saurav Ghosal.

As defending champions, the thought of the past glory did come to the mind, said Joshna, who had won a gold medal in the Glasgow Games in 2014 alongside Dipika.

"Four years since, much has happened in squash. We were there on the podium then and the goal was not to miss that moment again. To that extent it was a satisfactory finish," she said.

"We are encouraged to work harder for next big challenge, the Asian Games, in August,' she added.

Dipika said the big satisfaction was that they had not come back empty-handed.

The duo felt refereeing could have been a lot better at the Games.

"After the final, even the New Zealand players agreed with us in this matter," Joshna said.

Despite arriving at a late hour, the returning squash players were pleasantly surprised at the enthusiastic welcome.

"We are more than surprised at this reception," said Joshna.

Harinder Pal Sandhu and national coach Cyrus Poncha also returned with the medal-winning duo.

The coach said it was an excellent result as the teams had come through tough encounters at the quarterfinal stage.

Tamilnadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami announced cash incentives for medal winners including Joshna (Rs 30 lakh) and Dipika (Rs 60 lakh) and Ghosal (Rs 30 lakh).