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Asian Games

Asian Games Squash: Men's team wins gold, beats Pakistan in the final

The Indian men's squash team won the gold medal at the Asian Games defeating Pakistan. This is the second gold after 2014.

Asian Games Squash: Mens team wins gold, beats Pakistan in the final

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


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 30 Sep 2023 8:20 PM GMT

The Indian men's squash team emerged victorious in the final of the Asian Games 2023, defeating arch-rivals Pakistan to claim the coveted gold medal.

India's gold medal in squash came after a nine-year gap, with their previous victory in the men's team category dating back to the 2014 Asian Games. This time, Saurav Ghosal and Mahesh Mangaonkar again played pivotal roles in bringing the gold back to India, a feat reminiscent of the golden triumph in 2014 when Harinderpal Singh Sandhu was also part of the winning team that defeated Malaysia.

This victory marks a significant turnaround from their earlier encounter in the team pool stage, where Pakistan had prevailed with a 2-1 scoreline, with Saurav Ghosal securing the sole win for India. However, when it truly mattered, India rose to the occasion.

Just a day before the final, India had displayed their mettle by defeating the defending champions, Malaysia, to secure their spot in the gold medal match.

The campaign in the finals commenced with Mahesh Mangaonkar facing off against Iqbal Nasir. Despite a promising start from Mahesh, Nasir Iqbal made a remarkable comeback, winning the first set. Nasir continued his dominance in the second set, leaving Mahesh with no room for a comeback.

Despite leading briefly in the third game, Mahesh eventually conceded the game 3-0 (8-11, 3-11, 2-11).

The spotlight then shifted to the clash between Saurav Ghosal, ranked 19th globally, and Muhammad Asim. Saurav began the first game on shaky ground, trailing 1-5, but he displayed exceptional resilience, securing 10 consecutive points to win the game.

Saurav's dominance continued in the second game, where he allowed Asim to score only one point. The third game sealed the deal for India as Saurav Ghosal's impeccable performance brought them back into contention 3-0 (1-5, 11-1, 11-3).

In the third game, Abhay Singh faced Noor Zaman, with rankings favouring Abhay. Abhay started strong in the first game, securing three points and ultimately winning it with a solid performance. Abhay couldn't keep up with the pressure in the second and third, handing a 2-1 lead to Noor Zaman.

However, a spirited Abhay managed to secure the win in the fourth set after trailing most of the time leading it into a fifth game decider. Abhay fought hard in the final set, despite trailing 8-10 in the final moments ultimately securing the gold medal for India with a 3-2 (11-7, 9-11, 7-11, 11-9, 12-10 ) victory.

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