CHENNAI:Express Avenue is going to get busier in the coming days. With the WSF World Junior Squash Championships’ final stages set to be happen at the centre of the mall, one can soon witness a mix of culture from 28 countries (171 players). India is not going to have an easy path. While Joshna Chinappa is the only Indian to reach the finals of the world juniors, there have been plenty of occasions where India have fielded seeded players. But that is not the case this time.
National coach Cyrus Poncha is optimistic that this tournament will help some of the players get an idea about what they can expect in the future. “Last year also, we had Velavan Senthilkumar, who was a quarterfinalist. Unfortunately, we don’t have someone like him this time. Things change and we are at least hoping for a top-eight finish,” he told Express.
“None of the boys playing are seeded in the top 32. Anything more than that will be good. The good thing is that some are just 16 years old. They will get another chance after two years. So, we will have players with more experience. And I think in two years time, these boys will be capable of going for gold. That’s the kind of level these boys are on.”
All players are coming down for the event will stay at Hyatt Regency for the duration of the tournament. Poncha also said that better arrangements for hosting a bigger crowd will be done at Express Avenue, as compared to last year’s Asian Squash Championship. “We are expecting a bigger crowd. Space is an issue for seating. But that’s the advantage with squash. You can watch it from anywhere.”
Squash Racket Federation of India is planning to hold a one-week national camp at Indian Squash Academy (Chennai) from August 13. The players are currently training at different places across the globe. Saurav Ghoshal and Joshna Chinappa are training in UK and US. Deepika Pallikal, currently in Chennai, will travel to Egypt in a couple of days.