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India Celebrate Historic Asian Junior Double

India celebrated an historic double in the Asian Junior Squash Championships in Sri Lanka when Ravi Dixit and Dipika Pallikal won the U19 titles at the Gymkahana Club in the country’s former capital Colombo.

Dixit created history by becoming the first Indian male to win an Asian squash title.  The 18-year-old from Chennai, who won the Malaysian Junior Open last month, made his breakthrough in the semi-finals where he beat compatriot Abhishek Pradhan, a 5/8 seed who had ousted Pakistan favourite Farhan Zaman in the previous round.

In the final, Dixit faced second seed Waqas Mehboob, also from Pakistan.  Trailing by two games and with a match ball against him, the 3/4 seed nervously clawed his way back to draw level.

The fifth game was neck and neck until nine-all.  But after Mehboob hit the tin in the penultimate point, Dixit finished the final point with a forehand drive winner to claim his 8-11, 8-11, 13-11, 11-5, 11-9 triumph.

Dipika Pallikal completed India’s historic day by lifting the junior women’s crown after defeating second seedLow Wee Nee of Malaysia 11-8, 12-10, 10-12, 11-8.  But for a brief lapse in concentration, favourite Pallikal, 18, from Chennai, had the match very much in control.

Pakistan and Hong Kong shared the U15 titles – 13-year-old favourite Bilal Zakir beating fellow PakistaniAmmad Farid 11-5, 13-11, 11-5 in the men’s final and Chan Pansy Pui Hei, a 5/8 seed from Hong Kong, pulling off a significant upset with an 11-8, 9-11, 11-9, 6-11, 11-8 victory over second-seeded  MalaysianVanessa Raj in the women’s final.

Men’s U19 quarter-finals:

[5/8] Abhishek Pradhan (IND) bt [1] Farhan Zaman (PAK) 5-11, 1-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8
[3/4] Ravi Dixit (IND) bt [5/8] Muhammad Zul A Azhar (MAS) 11-8, 11-9, 11-2
[3/4] Aditya Jagtap (IND) bt Muhammad Addeen Idrakie (MAS) 16-18, 11-6, 11-8, 11-9[2] Waqas Mehboob (PAK) bt [5/8] Mahesh Mangaonkar (IND) 13-15, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8, 11-9

Semi-finals:
[3/4] Ravi Dixit (IND) bt [5/8] Abhishek Pradhan (IND) 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 11-2
[2] Waqas Mehboob (PAK) bt [3/4] Aditya Jagtap (IND) 11-4, 11-3 ret.

Final:
[3/4] Ravi Dixit (IND) bt [2] Waqas Mehboob (PAK) 8-11, 8-11, 13-11, 11-5, 11-9

Women’s U19 quarter-finals:

[1] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt Tan Yan Xin (MAS) 11-7, 7-11, 11-9, 13-11
5/8] Anaka Alankamony (IND) bt Saumya Karki (IND) 3-11, 13-11, 10-12, 12-10, 11-8
[3/4] Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) bt [5/8] Anwesha Reddy (IND) 11-7, 11-8, 11-6
[2] Low Wee Nee (MAS) bt [5/8] Ho Ka Po (HKG) 10-12, 11-8, 11-4, 11-9

Semi-finals:
[1] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [5/8] Anaka Alankamony (IND) 11-9, 11-7, 11-2
[2] Low Wee Nee (MAS) bt [3/4] Tong Tsz-Wing (HKG) 7-11, 11-5, 8-11, 11-8, 11-8
Final:

[1] Dipika Pallikal (IND) bt [2] Low Wee Nee (MAS) 11-8, 12-10, 10-12, 11-7

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