Akanksha settles for runner-up finish at Karnataka Open Squash
Dempo Goodwill Ambassador Akanksha Salunkhe had to settle for a runner-up finish at the Karnataka Open Squash Tournament after she lost 2-3 to Neharika Balmurukan from Chennai in the finals held at JSW Steel Plant in Bellary on Sunday.
Akanksha had won 3-0 against Jhanavi Rathore from Chennai in the semi-finals and had beaten Bhavana Yadav from Maharashtra 3-0 in the quarter-finals.
Meanwhile, Goa’s Yash Fadte emerged winner in the boys U-11 category defeating Deepak Mandal from Maharashtra 3-0 in the finals. Earlier in the semis, Yash had defeated Kishore from Tamil Nadu 3-0 while in the quarters he had outclassed Mohit Bhatt with an identical score.
Nine-year-old Yash Salunkhe, Akanksha’s brother, came third in the boys U-11 category after he lost 3-0 to Deepak Mondal from Maharashtra in the semis. He had won 3-0 against Keshav Pillai from Tamil Nadu in the quarters and had defeated Surinder Singh from New Delhi 3-0 in the first round.
Coach Rehman Saiyed had taken 20 students for the tournament, where he also shed his track suit for shorts and got down in the courts to compete. With concerted cheering from his twenty students, he progressed well in the tournament but had to concede defeat to Mr Deepak Molani 3-1, who is a reputed coach from Pune.
Rahil Paris lost 3-0 against Sandeep Paswan of Maharashtra in the quarter-finals, while Yash Fadte’s brother, Om Fadte lost in the quarters.
Amongst the 20 players, Sanjit Saini, Kaustubh Tankasale, Atharva Yadav, Druvin Rathore, Kshitij Gupta, Dakshya Thakur, Aryan Naik, Anchit Sardesai and Manav reached the second round. Aditya Dayal, Arman Chowfin, Greg Dourado, Pranav and Rajaram Parsekar played the first round.
These aspiring children would now train for the forthcoming Sub Junior and Junior Nationals scheduled from October 28 to November 4 in Mumbai. [NT]