Indian men’s squash team clinch gold medal at Asian Games 2023
This is the second gold medal for the men’s squash team at the Asiad.
The Indian men’s squash team defeated arch-rivals Pakistan in a dramatic gold medal match at the Asian Games 2023. The 2018 Asian Games bronze medalists won 2-1 to secure the gold medal in the men’s team event. They had lost to Pakistan in the group stage earlier (1-2). Saurav Goshal won his match 3-0, while Abhay Singh won 3-2 and Mahesh Mangaonkar lost 0-3. This time they reversed the result in their favour to clinch the second gold in the team event. The first gold medal had come at the 2014 Asian Games.
India started the proceedings in the gold medal match with Mahesh Mangaonkar. Mahesh, who is WR 81 started with a comfortable lead in the first game, but he faced a little difficulty in the second half of the opening game and lost it. He played some brilliant squash in the first game, but he lost momentum completely after the referee gave a point against him and thus lost the first match to Iqbal Nasir of Pakistan 0-3 (8-11,3-11,2-11).
The veteran of Indian squash WR 20 Saurav Ghosal sealed the second match for India after winning in a dominant fashion 3-0 (11-5,11-1,,11-3) against Muham Asim Khan of Pakistan to bring India level in the tie.
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The young talent of Indian squash Abhay Singh sealed the tie for India in the final match (3-2). He played some brilliant squash and defeated Noor Zaman of Pakistan 3-1 (11-7, 9-11,8-11,11-9,12-10). Abhay, who is WR 69 started with a comfortable first game win over the WR 113 as he wrapped the first game 11-7. He faced difficulty in the next two games, as he lost the second and third games with a score of 9-11,8-11. He lost the middle two games, but won the fourth and final game in thrilling fashion to secure India their 10th Gold medal.
The notable thing is here that he was down 7-9 in the fourth game, but came back to score the next four points (11-9) to push the gold medal match into a dramatic decider. He won the deciding game 12-10. He was down two match points (8-10) in this game, but then scored four consecutive points (12-10) to seal the gold medal for India.