Two-time Worlds medallist Chris Walker appointed Indian squash team's foreign coach
Chris Walker, who represented England in squash and cycling, will be "engaged" with the Indian team for 16 weeks
Two-time World Championships medallist Chris Walker has been appointed as Indian squash team's foreign coach on an "event basis" ahead of the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games later this year. According to a Sports Ministry release, Walker, who represented England in squash and cycling, will be "engaged" with the Indian team for 16 weeks. Walker's appointment was recommended by the Sports Authority of India's Selection Committee and officials of the Squash Racquet Federation of India (SRFI).
India did not have a foreign coach since Egypt's Achraf el Karargui left in March 2018 due to differences with SRFI. With Mark Cairns, Walker won the inaugural World Doubles Squash Championships in 1997. Having moved base to the United States, he rose to be the national coach of the US team. SRFI secretary general Cyrus Poncha welcomed Walker's appointment saying his credentials speak for itself. Walker's first assignment with the Indian team is likely to be World Doubles Championship in April.
"He was a top singles players in the world. He has won medals in big events including CWG. He has what it takes to guide our team in the right direction. It is an event based arrangement and not a full-time appointment," Poncha told PTI. "This event based arrangement suits us more as our leading players are on the professional tour for the major part of the year," he said adding that SRFI is targeting five medals each from Asian Games and CWG.
Walker won bronze medals in the 1993 and 1996 World Open Squash Championships and was part of the England teams that claimed silver medals in the World Team Championships in 1995 and 1997. He also has Commonwealth Games doubles bronze medals in 1998 and 2002. He also represented England in Cycling in the Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur in 1998. "I couldn't be more excited about working with Team India in such an important year with the run up to the World Doubles, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games," said Walker.
"I will be working closely with the Federation, and I want to help all the Indian Squash team players prepare absolutely the best they can to play their best squash at these upcoming events." The Indian men's team comprising Saurav Ghoshal, Ramit Tandon and Mahesh Mangaokar recently finished runner-up in the Asian Team Championships in Kuala Lumpur. The women's squad, with Joshna Chinappa, Sunayna Kuruvilla and Urwashi Joshi made it to the semifinals.
The Commonwealth Games is due to be held in Birmingham from July 28 to August 8 and the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China, from September 10 to 25. India won two silver medals in the Commonwealth Games 2018 through doubles pairs, Dipika Pallikal Karthik partnering Joshna Chinappa in women's doubles and Saurav Ghoshal in mixed doubles. India finished the Asian Games 2018 with five medals, including a silver (women's team) and four bronze medals in three events.