Pallikal to lead Indian challenge at World Junior C`ship

New Delhi: Country`s top squash player Dipika Pallikal will spearhead Indian challenge in the Women`s World Junior Squash Championship which started on Friday in Cologne in Germany.

Pallikal has been seeded second in the five-day-long event (June 25-29) behind defending champion Nour El Sherbini of Egypt.

Other Indians participating in the tournament include eighth seed Anaka Alankamony and two unseeded players in Aparajitha Balamurukan and Anwesha Reddy.

Pallikal, who will play USA`s Katie Tutrone in the first round on Saturday, is the only player to be celebrating a fourth appearance in the event after making her debut in the 2003 championship in Egypt.

She will be looking to make up for the disappointment of failing to win the title last year as favourite.

Pallikal had lost to Egyptian Nour El Tayeb 6-11 11-8 8-11 7-11 in the semi-final at Chennai.

The 18-year-old from Chennai has already made her mark on the WISPA World Tour. Pallikal picked up her maiden title at the Indian Challenger number five on home soil in Kolkata in April, and now boasts a world number 40 ranking.

Sherbini, the 14-year-old from Cairo, is the second youngest player in the Under-19 championship draw after Pallikal.