New Delhi, 6 October: Dipika Pallikal and Harinder Pal Sandhu put up a super combined display to defeat Malaysia’s Aifa Azman-Mohd Syafiq Kamal 2-0 for the gold in the mixed doubles squash event at the Asian Games In Hangzhou, the People’s Republic of China on Thursday.

In the men's singles final Veteran Sourav Ghoshal went down fighting 1-3 against Malaysia’s Ng Eain Yow and settled for a silver

In a thrilling final, Dipika and Sandhu edged out fancied Aifa Azman-Mohd Syafiq Kamal 11-10, 11-10 to claim the squash mixed doubles tournament being held for the first time at the Asian Games.

Aifa Azman and Mohd Syafiq Kamal, both gold medalists in team events at the Games, started aggressively and didn’t let the Indian pair settle who struggled with their returns as the Malaysian duo raced to a 10-8 lead.

The Indians raised the bar and saved two game points before winning the first game.  The Indian pair carried the momentum into the second game and used the side wall to great effect.

Up 9-3, the Indians looked like cruising towards the gold but Aifa and Syafiq Kamal bagged the next seven points to turn the tables.

Once again, Dipika and Harinder managed to save a game point. Sandhu stepped up when it mattered to level the score with a backhand smash. He then split both Malaysian players with another strong backhand to win the match and with it, the gold medal.

Earlier Saurav Ghosal lost the singles final against the reigning Asian champion Malaysia’s Ng Eain Yow 11-9, 9-11, 5-11, 7-11).

Saurav who won all his singles matches in straight games, was off to a shaky start. After conceding a 6-1 lead, he improved his returns to level the scores at 9-9 before eventually winning the game.

Both players were at it in the second set, winning points back-and-forth. However, Ng Eain drew parity winning the game 11-9  

In the decider, the Malaysian was all over Ghosal in the third game and edged ahead. He continued his dominance in the fourth game as well and his placements left Ghosal playing catch up. 

Ng Eain Yow went on to win the decider 11-7 and won his second gold at the Asian Games, adding to the men’s team gold he took home from Jakarta in 2018.


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