Some of India’s top players, sans defending women’s champion Joshna Chinappa, will be seen in action in the National Squash Championship which begins Friday.
The 79th edition of the tournament will run between November 17 and 23, with the Tamil Nadu Squash Rackets Association hosting it for the seventh time.
The prize money allocated is Rs 8.8 lakh for both men’s and women’s sections.
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Defending champion Abhay Singh, Ramit Tandon, Velavan Senthilkumar and Suraj Chand are the top four seeds in the men’s section.
In the women’s section, Tanvi Khanna, Anahat Singh, Urwashi Joshi and Janet Vidhi are the top four seeds.
Chinappa will miss the event as she is nursing a knee injury.
On the eve of the tournament, Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) patron N Ramachandran said, “We are dedicated to fostering the growth of squash across the country.
“Our commitment extends to providing continuous support to players, promoting the sport at all levels, and working towards achieving national and international milestones.”
He said younger players need to train in Europe before the Olympics.
The coming years are going to be significant for squash in India, especially after the sport has been included in the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics programme.
Ramachandran, however, said the sport’s roadmap is yet to be prepared for LA28.
“The International Olympic Committee is yet to decide on the criteria as to who is to play the sport in LA – based on continental placing or PSA Rankings, we don’t know. Also, the last time we checked with them, they said it’s going to take a few months,” he said while answering a query from PTI.
“However, we will be placing in our request as to what we want. If our players are to win a medal in LA, the younger players need to stay and train in Europe for at least three to four months per year.”
“We have a programme called ACTC, where they sit and discuss it with the Sports Authority of India and Sports Ministry as to what the programme (roadmap) for the federation will be. Now, we will have to wait for them to get back.”