Asian Games 2023: Dipika Pallikal-Harinder Singh Sandhu clinch mixed doubles gold
Squash has contributed four medals till now to India’s overall tally at the ongoing Continental meet.
On the final day of the squash events, Indian duo Dipika Pallikal and Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu posted a confidence-boosting win against Malaysia’s Aifa Azman Binti and Mohammed Kamal Syafiq. Dipika and Harinder clinched gold in the mixed doubles event at Asian Games 2023 held in Hangzhou, China.
In a game lasting only 35 minutes, the Indians beat the Malaysian pairing, (11-10, 11-10). Both sides were evenly posed in the first game, with very little to mark them apart. The Indian duo were on the verge of losing the first game at 8-10 but turned the result in their favour with a three-point winning streak to close it out at 11-10.
Pallikal and Harindar took an early lead in the second game, establishing a six-point lead to go ahead 9-3. Aifa and Mohammed Kamal clawed their way back to level the score at 9-9, reeling off a quick six points, going ahead 10-9. In what mirrored the first game, the Indian team claimed the next two points to win the game and the match.
The Indians arrived in the final with a commanding performance, defeating regional powerhouse Hong Kong in the semifinals. Further, they lost only two games in their campaign, once to Thailand and the second to their opponents in the semi-final round.
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This is India’s fourth medal in squash at the ongoing quadrennial extravaganza, with a possible fifth when the men’s singles final gets underway later today. Saurav Ghosal will be facing off against Malaysian Eain Yow Ng for the top prize and will be looking to cap his memorable campaign at the Asian Games.
Apart from the mixed doubles gold, India has also won the men’s team gold, women’s team bronze, and another mixed doubles bronze by Anahat Singh and Abhay Singh.