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Commonwealth Games squash: India defy the odds

Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa of India celebrate with their Gold medals. Picture: Getty

Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa of India celebrate with their Gold medals. Picture: Getty

  • by ANDREW SMITH
 

MERELY by reaching the semi-finals of the women’s doubles in squash, India’s Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa were said to have exceeded all expectation. On Saturday, they knocked that achievement into a cocked hat when they took gold to claim for their country’s first squash medal of any colour at the Commonwealth Games.

India’s 14th gold of Glasgow 2014 was earned in style at the Scotstoun Sport Campus courtesy of a thoroughly convincing 11-6, 11-8 final victory over England’s Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro, who had to content themselves with silver just as was the case four years ago .

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The Scottish interest did not survive the men’s double semi-final but there was no shame in that for vanquished pair Harry Leitch and Alan Clyne. As he has done in every squash encounter he has faced in Glasgow, Nick Matthew - the winner of individual squash gold - proved unbeatable, ably supported by his partner Adrian Grant.

In a niggly, bristly battle, Leitch and Clyne held a 7-5 advantage over the No.1 seeds and defending Commonwealth Games champions after a superb start.

But a let call from Leitch at 7-6 that was refused by Australian referee Damien Green seemed to prove pivotal.

It allowed England to even up the scores at 7-7, and thereafter they did not surrender a point in the first game, sweeping aside the Scots 11-1 in the second game.

Leitch and Clyne will chase bronze today against England’s Daryl Selby and James Willstrop on Sunday, their hopes of facing team-mates Matthew and Grant thwarted by Australians David Palmer and Carn Pilley.

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