Calcutta: National junior champion Saurav Ghoshal has forced his way into the Indian squash team for the Pusan Asian Games. This is the 16-year-old’s maiden national call-up.
Saurav, the under-17 world No. 2, impressed one and all at the selection trials recently in Chennai where he beat Vikram Uberoi.
“It was a satisfying performance as I managed to beat some higher-ranked players,” said Saurav, who has recently shifted base to Chennai.
The club had arranged a felicitation for two of its young achievers — Saurav and 10-year-old Ramit Tandon, who has recently won under-11 titles at the Malaysian, Singapore and Hong Kong Junior Open meets.
Completing the other Pusan-bound squad are Ritwik Bhattacharya, Jyotsna Chinappa and Vaidehi Reddy.
National champion Ritwik, now training in London under reputed English coach Neil Harvey, is an automatic inclusion for the Asian Games. The others had to go through the qualifying process. Only individual events will be held in Pusan.
Talking of Indian prospects at the Pusan Games, Saurav said Ritwik stood a good chance of winning a medal. “There will be a couple of good players each from Pakistan and Malaysia who will be difficult to beat… Ritwik may win a bronze.”
As for his own chances, Saurav was practical. “This will be my first senior level tournament of such a stature, so I will be looking for some valuable exposure,” he remarked.
Explaining his decision to shift to Chennai, Saurav said it was due to the better facilities there. “Also, Malaysian consultant coach Major Maniam is overseeing the training camp there.”
Saurav’s next assignment after Pusan is the world junior championship due to be hosted by Chennai in December. “I’ll see how I perform in that meet and wait till next year to decide whether to turn professional,” Saurav said.