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18/02/2011
ASIAN JUNIOR TEAM CHAMPS
 

India Celebrate Historic Asian Junior Team Success In Sri Lanka

Asian Junior Team Championships, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Men's Final:
INDIA bt [1] PAKISTAN 2/1
Ramit Tandon bt Danish Atlas Khan 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9
Abhishek Pradhan lost to Nasir Iqbal 4-11, 7-11, 3-11
Mahesh Mangaonkar bt Sadam Ul Haq 11-7, 11-2, 11-6

3rd place: HONG KONG CHINA & MALAYSIA
5th place play-off: JAPAN bt SRI LANKA 2/1
7th place play-off: KUWAIT bt SINGAPORE 2/1
9th place play-off: CHINA bt IRAN 2/1
11th place: JORDAN

Women's Final:
[1] HONG KONG CHINA bt MALAYSIA 2/0
Tong Tsz-Wing bt Tan Yan Xin 11-5, 11-8, 11-7
Ho Ka Po bt Vanessa Raj 11-2, 11-7, 13-11

3rd place: SINGAPORE & INDIA
5th place play-off: JAPAN bt CHINA 2/0
7th place play-off: SRI LANKA bt IRAN 2/0

India Celebrate Historic Asian Junior Team Success In Sri Lanka

The rapid growth of squash in India took another major step forward when the country's boys team upset arch rivals Pakistan, the title-holders, in the final of the Asian Junior Team Championships in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to win the prestigious title for the first time since the inception of the championships in 1981.

Playing to a packed crowd at the Sri Lankan Air Force base squash venue, the Indian players Ramit Tandon, Abhishek Pradhan, Mahesh Mangaonkar and Vrishab Kotian rose to the occasion as they outmanoeuvred and outplayed the mighty Pakistanis.

Tandon put the underdogs in the driving seat after overcoming Pakistan number one Danish Atlas Khan 11-7, 6-11, 11-9, 8-11, 11-9 in a 90-minute marathon.

Top seeds Pakistan drew level when second string Nasir Iqbal beat the Indian number two Abhishek Pradhan in straight games.

But Mahesh Mangaonkar stamped his authority on the decider from the outset, beating Pakistani Sadam Ul Haq 11-7, 11-2, 11-6 as the elated Indian team jumped for joy.

"With this victory in hand, India now are the proud owners of three of the four Asian junior titles," said the jubilant Squash Rackets Federation of India Secretary General Srivatsan Subramaniam. "Six months ago, Ravi Dixit and Dipika Pallikal won the Asian Junior (U19) Individual Championship - and today we have won the Junior Boys Teams.

SRFI Consultant Coach Major (R) S Maniam added: "This certainly augurs well for India squash. All the hard work put in by the players, with the unvarying support from the federation and the government, is producing the desired results."

National Coach Cyrus Poncha was thrilled with his team's performance: "This is certainly a dream come true. I am lost for words to express my delight. Ramit was certainly the hero of the day; he has worked so very hard for this. It certainly is a great way to start the year."

In the women's final, favourites Hong Kong China successfully defended their title, beating Malaysia 2/0 in a repeat of the 2007 final in Hong Kong.