Sat, 02 Dec 2023

New Delhi [India], September 30 (ANI): Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur on Saturday congratulated the Men's Squash team for winning their second gold medal at the Hangzhou Asian Games on Saturday.

With their fierce performance, the Indian men's squash team of Mahesh Mangaonkar, Saurav Ghosal and Abhay Singh defeated Pakistan 2-1 in a high-intensity final today.

"Congratulations to @SauravGhosal, @abhaysinghk98, @maheshmangao@sandhu_harinderon clinching gold the in Squash Men's Team at the AsianGames2022! Unbelievable, enthralling, nerve-Wrecking final against Pakistan but Victorious in the End! A truly special victory clinching India their 2nd gold medal in Squash at Asian Games. What a moment! A special shoutout to the entire Squash Contingent for displaying the true essence of team spirit," Anurag Thakur wrote on his X (formerly Twitter) handle.

In the first match of the tie between arch-rivals, it was Pakistan's Iqbal who started the game fiercely as he raced off to a 5-1 lead early on over Mahesh Mangaonkar.

Mangaonkar lost in straight games against Iqbal 8-11, 11-3, 11-2. After a competitive first game, in which Mangaonkar was 11-8, Nasir won the next two 11-3, 11-2 to give Pakistan a 1-0 lead in the tie.

In the second match, veteran player Saurav Ghosal turned the tie in India's favour as he won 11-5, 11-1, 11-3 against Muhammad Asim Khan.

Abhay brought out his acrobatics, diving to reach a couple of shots. Noor Zaman showed off his understanding of the angles, making the most of side walls. Some more amazing athleticism from Abhay was not enough as Zaman levelled the final match at 1 game apiece.

In the fourth game of the match, an unforced error from Zaman brought Abhay right back into it. The 25-year-old gave India the game and took the decider into a decider.

In the decider game, Abhay showed off his understanding of the court and the angles involved to pick up a couple of quick points and go into the lead. The decider saw some fantastic shots, but in the end, it was a massive unforced error from Zaman, who hit the tin again, that gave Abhay the point.

Zaman had two gold medal points but Abhay Singh dug and he dug deep to get four points on the trot again and gave India a gold medal in the final. (ANI)

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