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Asian Games

The "Abhay" hero who seized the gold medal for India

Abhay Singh lived up to the meaning of his name, emerging as the hero for the Indian men's squash team in the final.

The Abhay hero who seized the gold medal for India

The Indian men's squash team emerged victorious in the final of the Asian Games 2023 (Source: Asian Games)


Aswathy Santhosh

Updated: 1 Oct 2023 7:49 AM GMT

The Indian men's squash team clinched the coveted gold medal, defeating their arch-rivals Pakistan in the final at the Asian Games 2023. This victory marked India's return to the top spot in men's squash after a nine-year hiatus since their last triumph in the 2014 Asian Games.

The Asian Games 2023 squash final was nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for the Indian contingent. Mahesh Mangaonkar started off with a defeat against Nasir Iqbal. It was then up to Saurav Ghosal to reignite India's hopes.

Abhay Singh: Truly "Abhay"

The most memorable moment of the final came when Abhay Singh stepped onto the court to face Noor Zaman in the third match of the clash. Abhay got off to a strong start, taking the first game, but Zaman surged ahead 2-1 at the end of the third game. In a dramatic turn of events, Abhay launched a spirited comeback that led to a nail-biting fifth-game decider. The tension was palpable, but Abhay displayed nerves of steel, securing India's gold with a dramatic 12-10 victory.

Abhay Singh Celebrating after defeating Noor Zaman

Speaking to the media, Abhay Singh shares a touching moment, "My dad was at work - he was watching and picked up the phone. I was just crying. I couldn't say much, but my mum was taking a nap, so she probably couldn't answer the phone. She's a heart patient, so she doesn't watch me play so much."

Abhay also acknowledged the sacrifices his family made to support his career, saying, "My parents have sacrificed so much for me, whether be it my dad helping me financially to get me where I am as a squash player, or my mum travelling across the world with me when I was a child, so I could gain exposure."

Saurav Ghosal: Mr. Dependable

Saurav Ghosal remained India's most consistent and dependable player throughout the team's quest for the gold medal at the ongoing Asian Games. Even after pulling India back in the contention with a win, Saurav did not lose his focus. Being the most experienced player in the team, he keeps shouting and providing crucial inputs to Abhay, who prevailed in the fifth game and the match 3-2 to help India steal the gold from the grip of Pakistan.

"All of us would be disappointed, if we had lost because we were so close, but I don't think anyone would have regretted the amount of effort we put in," says Saurav after the clash.

Explaining Abhay's comeback in the deciding game from 8-10 to 12-10 win, Saurav says, "Incredible things happen in squash. He (Abhay Singh) did really well to come back and showed nerves of steel. I'm really happy for him and happy for all of us that we have the gold medal to show for everything we put into it."

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