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PROUD WINNER:Anaka Alankamony, who emulated the feats of Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal by claiming the Asian junior championships.
AMMAN: Anaka Alankamony avenged her defeat at the Asian Team championships earlier this year in Sri Lanka to notch up her maiden victory against Tsz Wing Tong of Hong Kong 6-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7 to win the Asian junior squash championships here.
She emulated the feats of her illustrious compatriots Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal, the earlier victors from India.
Just 16 years and eligible to take part in the newly introduced under-17 category, Anaka was determined to make a mark in the under-19 girls championship. The gritty girl did struggle, particularly in the initial phase when the excessive bounce and speed of the ball unsettled her.
To add to her discomfiture, Tong kept the ball hard and low consistently. The first game was quickly won by Tong 11-6.
Anaka started off well in the next, more importantly slowed down the game by playing the drops and gaining a handy lead. Tong helped the Indian's cause by firing the boasts into the tin.
Anaka won the second game 11-8 but Tong bounced back to take the third (12-10) over extra points. Committing lesser mistakes, the Indian bounced back into the match and ended the 75-minute tussle in her favour by picking up the next two games at identical 11-7 scores.
“It is a remarkable achievement, we have worked hard towards achieving this goal.” said national coach Cyrus Poncha on the victory. Poncha trains Anaka at the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai.
Anaka dedicated her victory to her parents, all coaches at the Indian Squash Academy, the Squash Rackets Federation of India for all its support, the ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, her equipment sponsors Harrow and clothing sponsors Nike.
While Anaka triumphed, Ramit Tandon in the under-19 boys and Saumya Karki in under-17 girls had to settle for the silver medals.
Ramit had beaten Danish Atlas Khan in the team event in Sri Lanka. But after taking a game and leading 7-2 in the next, Ramit slipped whereas Danish gained in confidence to seize the initiative. Ramit went down 11-9, 7-11, 4-11, 5-11.
Earlier, Saumya Karki went down fighting to top-seeded Ho Ka Po of Hong Kong in four games. Ho Ka Po won 17-15, 10-12, 11-5, 11-3.
Overall it was a successful tour for the Indian contingent having garnered a gold, two silver and five bronze medals.
The results (finals):
Girls: U-19: Anaka Alankamony bt Tsz Wing Tong 6-11, 11-8, 10-12, 11-7, 11-7.
U-17: Ho Ka Po bt Saumya Karki 17-15, 10-12, 11-5, 11-3.
Boys: U-19: Danish Atlas Khan bt Ramit Tandon 11-9, 7-11, 4-11, 5-11 .
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