Commonwealth Games medallists Dipika Pallikal, Joshna Chinappa return to warm welcome
India’s leading squash players, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal, returned to a warm welcome here late on Monday night after winning silver medals at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
Chinappa and Pallikal had to settle for a silver in the women’s doubles competition. Pallikal also won a historic silver in the mixed doubles with Saurav Ghosal.
As defending champions, the thought of the past glory did come to the mind, said Chinappa, who had won a gold medal in the Glasgow Games in 2014 alongside Pallikal.
“Four years since, much has happened in squash. We were there on the podium then and the goal was not to miss that moment again. To that extent it was satisfactory finish,” she said.
“We are encouraged to work harder for next big challenge, the Asian Games in August,” she added.
Pallikal said the big satisfaction was that they had not come back empty handed.
The duo felt refereeing could have been a lot better at the Games.
“After the final, even the New Zealand players agreed with us in this matter,” Chinappa said.
Despite arriving at a late hour, the returning squash players were pleasantly surprised at the enthusiastic welcome.
“We are more than surprised at this reception,” said Chinappa.
Harinder Pal Sandhu and national coach Cyrus Poncha also returned with the medal-winning duo.
The coach said it was an excellent result as the teams had come through tough encounters at the quarterfinal stage.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami had on Monday announced cash incentives for medal winners including Chinappa (Rs 30 lakh) and Pallikal (Rs 60 lakh) and Ghosal (Rs 30 lakh).
Also, table tennis players Sharath Kamal (gold in team, bronze in men’s singles and silver in men’s doubles) and G Sathiyan (gold in team, silver in men’s doubles and bronze in mixed doubles) would receive the cash awards.