Incheon: The Indian squash team spearheaded by men's top seed Saurav Ghosal goes into the Asian Games competition beginning tomorrow with a bright chance of winning medals in all four events on offer.
India managed to win four medals (all bronze) since the racket sport was introduced in the 1998 Bangkok Games but that modest tally could be matched or even improved in the Incheon edition provided the team plays to its potential.
The country's highest-ranked player and world no.12 Dipika Pallikal, too, has said that a medal each in men's team, men's individual, women's team and women's individual is a real possibility. Two of India's bronze has come courtesy 16th ranked Ghosal, who by his own admission may not get a better opportunity to win a gold. The Asia number one has got a bye in the men's singles first round and will play the winner of the match between China's Jiaqi Chen and Jordan's Alsaraj Ahmad Khaleel Ahmead at the Yeorumul Squash Courts.
"Everything is fine here, the playing area as well as the Games Village. I am all focused on the job at hand. Though it is fair to say that this is my best chance for winning the gold, every opponent will be dangerous. It is a one off competition unlike the professional tour and you only need to maintain a high standard of play for three to four matches for a medal. Rankings don't mean much in an event like the Asian Games," Ghosal told PTI.
The 28-year-old needs to win four matches to win the title and his first test will be in the quarterfinals where he is expected to face 20-year-old Pakistani Nasir Iqbal. His likely semifinal opponent will be 2006 champion and 35th-ranked Ong Beng Hee, who leads Malaysia's challenge in the absence of 2010 singles winner Mohd Azlan Iskandar.
The individuals precede the team championships and Ghosal feels the Indians have it in them to do better than the bronze performance of the last edition in Guangzhou, where the event was added to the Games program.