Velavan Senthilkumar, Abhay Singh and Adhitya Raghavan went on to create history when they won the gold, silver and bronze medal at the British Junior Open Squash Championship in the Under-19 Boys category.
The British Open is regarded as the ‘Wimbledon’ of Squash and only the second most prestigious championship after the World Junior Squash Championships.
The joy of the win could be easily figured out from the face of the national coach Cyrus Poncha who was absolutely elated with the achievement of the boys and added how this was the biggest thing that has ever happened to Indian Squash at the junior level.
All the three boys have been training together at the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai and have been healthy competitors for a while. Their coach Cyrus Poncha has been associated the academy ever since its inception in the year 2000.
He also explained how the story of all of the three squash winners didn’t exactly start on incredible terms. At the 2011 Junior Nationals, Velavan finished 7th, Abhay didn’t qualify and Adhitya stood 5th. However, with consistent dedication, devotion and discipline, the boys were able to prove an excellent example for other upcoming players. A lesson on how persistent efforts does earn positive results.
Their coach also didn’t hesitate to mention the generosity of the academy in Chennai and expressed his gratitude towards its founder N. Ramachandran as well by saying “Ramachandran’s effort, dedication and the money spent over the past two decades have paved way for this level of achievement.”
With Velavan winning the Asian Junior title last September, his take on the Drysdale Cup only multiplied the joy as he became the 2nd Indian ever to do so.
An achievement such as this really adds up to the motivation of fellow aspiring Indian squash players. Not only is it an incredible achievement for our three young players but also an indication that sports other than cricket are slowly, but surely attracting the mainstream towards themselves. It could really be a game turner for squash in the upcoming years.
It might not catapult a drastic change as quickly as the fate of the sports wrestling and boxing improved after athletes Sushil Kumar and Vijender scored India two bronze medals at the 2008 Olympics, but it could surely throw some spotlight on the players and spur the rise of the game in the Indian circuit.
As for our winners, we couldn’t be happier and heartiest congratulations Velavan Senthilkumar, Abhay Singh and Adhitya Raghavan for their spectacular win at the British Open and we wish them good luck for their future endeavours.
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Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.