While most of the country is still desolate over MS Dhoni’s retirement, two young Indian’s have made history at the British Junior Squash Open in the Under 19 category. Velavan Senthilkumar and Abhay Singh will be vying for top honours when they take on each other in an all-Indian final in the boys’ Under-19 section at Sheffield on Thursday.
Senthilkumar, who is the current Asian Junior Under 19 champion is the 5/8 seed in the tournament, and had to overcome the tough challenge of the second seeded Youssef Ibrahim in the semi finals.
While Senthilkumar has had to take out just one giant scalp in his run to the final, the unseeded Abhay Singh has had to overcome monstrous hurdles in the ¾ seed Belal Nawar, 5/8 seed Kyle Finch and 9/16 seed Adhitya Raghavan in order to reach the final.
With this India is guaranteed a gold medal at the British Junior Open. The last Indian player to do so was Sourav Ghoshal, in 2004. He was also the first ever Indian to do so.
With the recent upsurge of racquet sports in India, the future of squash looks really bright, as you can see the new crop of players making a mark for themselves in the international circuit.
Other Squash achievements of India
Joshna Chinappa and Deepika Pallikal are two other great ambassadors of the sport for India. Their gold medal at the Commonwealth games in 2014 and incredible performances at other international events mean that Indian squash is on the uprise, and the performance of Indians at the junior level ensures that it stays there.
Kush Kumar’s 2014 World Championships and 2015 British Junior Open bronze medal wins as well as Neel Joshi’s B13 bronze last year totally signal that the future is in good hands.