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Asian Games

Joshna Chinappa wins 5th Asian Games medal at 37 but retirement is not on mind

While the Indian women's team couldn't clinch gold or silver, they secured the bronze medal. It was Joshna Chinnappa, who emerged as a beacon of resilience for the team in the intense tie against Hong Kong.

Joshna Chinappa wins 5th Asian Games medal at 37 but retirement is not on mind

Joshna Chinappa in action against Japan at Squash World Cup. (credits: World Squash)


Aswathy Santhosh

Updated: 29 Sep 2023 8:26 AM GMT

The Indian women's squash team faced off against a formidable opponent, Hong Kong in a bid for gold or silver at the 19th Asian Games. While they couldn't clinch the top two spots, they secured the bronze medal by losing the semifinal tie against Hong Kong.

By winning the bronze medal, Joshna Chinnappa, 37, is still undecided on her retirement; she says she will take another six months to assess her fitness. In the tie, against a tougher opponent Tze Lok Ho, Joshna stayed up to the challenge and emerged as a beacon of resilience to help India draw level.

Reflecting on her performance, Joshna said, "I’m just happy to have that fighting spirit on court. That’s who I am as a player. "

The comeback

Tanvi Khanna opened the proceedings for India but faced a 3-0 defeat, losing all her first three games. Her defeat put immense pressure on Joshna, the experienced leader of the side. The odds seemed against her as she dropped the first game 11-7.

However, what followed was nothing short of an extraordinary story. Joshna fought back fiercely, winning the second game and extending the match to a fifth game. In a monumental upset, she defeated the world's 24th-ranked player, Tze Lok Ho.

Joshna, however, says the comeback was not necessarily due to any particular strategies, "Sometimes it’s just about hanging in there and fighting through. There were moments when that’s exactly what I did. "

But her fighting win would go in vain as youngster Anahat Singh lost the third match of the tie 8-11, 7-11, 12-10.

The 0-3 defeat to Hong Kong means India has had to settle for the bronze medal. For Joshna, it was her fifth Asian Games medal. She won her first medal, a bronze in women's singles in the 2018 Jakarta Games. Her other three medals - one bronze and two silver medals came in the team events.

India's pride

When asked about her motivation to keep pushing herself on the court, Joshna explained, “I am really happy I could play at a big stage for my country. Playing for India always brings out the best in me. I’m just glad I could do it today.” Her dedication to representing India on the global stage is evident in her commitment and performance.

The future

Regarding her future and the possibility of participating in the seventh Asian Games in 2026, Joshna remained focused on the present.

“I’m just trying to get through this week. Three years ahead is almost another lifetime. I never thought I’d be here at 37 playing my sixth Asian Games, but it’s very exciting. I love being with the whole Indian contingent from all different sports. But I take it six months at a time based on how my fitness is.”

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