Anaka Alankamony bags Asian squash gold
Amman (Jordan): Anaka Alankamony, a 16-year old from India, won the girls under 19 title at the Asian Junior Championships on Saturday night defeating top seeded Tong Tsz-Wing from Hong Kong in five games.
However, two other Indians, Ramit Tandon (boys under-19) and Saumya Karki (girls under-17) fell at the final hurdle.
Anaka avenged her defeat in the Asian Team Championships earlier this year to notch up her maiden victory against the tournament favourite Tong.
Anaka was unable to handle the excessive bounce and speed of the ball throughout the match as Tong kept it hard and low consistently.
The first game was quickly won by Tong 11-6. Anaka started off well in the second game slowing down the pace by playing a few drops and gaining a small lead. Tong made it easier for Anaka by hitting her boasts into the tin and the Indian won the second game 11-8.
The third game was close with both players having their chances. Tong won it 12-10 to take a 2-1 lead in the match. Anaka played defensive and things did not look right.
However, at crucial points in both the fourth and fifth games the Indian held her nerve and did not make single error to win both games 11-7 for the title. She has now become the third from her country to win the crown after Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal.
"It is a remarkable achievement by Anaka. We have worked hard towards achieving this goal," said national coach Cyrus Poncha.
On the adjacent court, Tandon, showing his superior racket skills and control, played near perfect squash to win the first game 11-9 and take a 7-2 lead in the second.
It looked to be a one-sided affair, but the Dane kept the ball in play and picked up the pace win nine straight points. Thereafter, Ramit was unable to get back into the match going down 11-9, 7-11, 4-11, 5-11.
It was a successful tour for the Indian contingent who will return home with one gold, two silver and five bronze medals.