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Thrilling conclusion to first Indian National Doubles Championship for 17 years

Abhay Singh won two golds as the first HCL Indian National Doubles Championship for 17 years came to an exciting conclusion at the Indian Squash Academy, Chennai.

Singh began the day with a dominant 11-4, 11-8 win with men’s doubles partner Velavan Senthilkumar over Rahul Baitha and Suraj Chand, before returning to court 90 minutes later with Indian squash legend Joshna Chinappa – who last week collected the prestigious Padma Shri award – as the mixed doubles pair fought back from a game down to record a 10-11, 11-2, 11-9 victory over Asian Games doubles gold medallist Harinder Sandhu and his partner Rathika Seelan.

There was consolation for Seelan in the women’s final, though, as she and her partner, rising star Pooja Arthi, beat Janet Vidhi and Nirupama Dubey in a seesaw battle.

“I have always been interested in playing in the doubles category. I thank HCL and SRFI for organizing this championship after a long time in India. I have played with Velavan in Commonwealth but this was my first time playing doubles with Joshna. It is such an honour to team up with her,” Singh said afterwards.

Cyrus Poncha, Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) Secretary General said: I am truly excited to see the renaissance of doubles squash in India, thanks to the mutual efforts of SRFI and HCL. It was truly thrilling to see the clashes between the double pairs. I believe that Indian Squash has a bright future and the stars of tomorrow will emerge from these events. Our association with HCL has been monumental for the sport and our combined efforts will continue to nurture talented players.

Results: HCL Indian National Doubles Championship

Men’s Final: Abhay Singh & Velavan Senthilkumar bt Rahul Baitha & Suraj Chand 2-0: 11-4, 11-8

Women’s Final: Pooja Arthi & Rathika Seelan bt Janet Vidhi & Nirupama Dubey 2-1: 11-3, 9-11, 11-1

Mixed Final: Abhay Singh & Joshna Chinappa bt Harinder Sandhu & Rathika Seelan 2-1: 10-11, 11-2, 11-9

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