Saurav Ghosal still hopes squash will be in 2020 Olympics
Terming it travesty that squash is not part of the Olympics, India number one Saurav Ghosal on Friday said he still has not lost hope completely to see the sport in 2020 Tokyo Games.
Kolkata: Terming it travesty that squash is not part of the Olympics, India number one Saurav Ghosal on Friday said he still has not lost hope completely to see the sport in 2020 Tokyo Games.
"It was a massive disappointment and travesty that we could not make it to 2020 Olympics. I'm not saying we are the best athletes but we are up there with the best and we deserve the opportunity to showcase our skill at the biggest stage," the world number 21 told reporters at the sidelines of an exhibition match with number two Gregory Gaultier of France.
The Asian Games gold and silver medalist, however, said the squash fraternity is backing the sport to see in 2020 Olympics as a decision is due next year.
"However we have got some hope with the new president from IOC is expanding the programme and planning to cut a few events and expand the sport disciplines. The decision will be taken at some point next year. So we are hoping we still can make it in 2020," he added with a dash of hope.
Giving reasons on why squash was dropped along with seven other sports -- wrestling, baseball/softball, karate, sport climbing, wakeboarding, wushu and roller sports -- Ghosal said: "We fell short on certain levels. We had feedbacks from IOC that we had lot of talking with referees, there's a lot of stop start things. We needed to tone that down, and be a bit more behaved and dress a bit better. So we did all that."
However, with wrestling back, Ghosal said the PSA too has made amends in the sport to merit a place in the quadrennial extravaganza.
"The PSA has done a fantastic sport in televising the sport. You can see the ball perfectly and also make the nuances which are difficult to make out from a live event. I think we ticked all the boxes in terms of inclusion of the sport," he said.
The city lad, who had achieved his career best ranking of 15 in December 2013, targets to get into top 20 and then push it upwards from there.
"The target obviously is to get back into top 20. I was there a year back. So once I get there, I will push higher. I get to play the top five players, pretty often. Hopefully I will pull off a game against a top-five in one of those days and I will take it from there," Ghosal said.
With him back to training in Kolkata and rising star Ramit Tandon, who's based in the US, also making a move, Ghosal said the city's squash landscape is set to change.
"It's always better to play at home, to get good results, and it helps our rankings. Ramit is coming back in June. I think in next four five years, we have a gravitational pull for others to come in."