Ma­hesh, Joshna are Na­tional squash cham­pi­ons


It was a heady cli­max as Joshna Chi­nappa won her 16th ti­tle and Ma­hesh Man­gaonkar pipped Vikram Mal­ho­tra in a thriller to win his maiden crown in the HCL 75th Na­tional Squash Cham­pi­onship at the HCL Hub in New Delhi.

Watched by an ap­pre­cia­tive au­di­ence in the pic­turesque set­ting of the HCL head­quar­ters, Joshna over­came a stiff start to out­play the sec­ond seed Ur­washi Joshi 9­11, 11­1, 11­6, 11­5.

With the ti­tle, Joshna, who had won her maiden women’s crown in 2000 as a 14­year­old, equalled Bhu­vanesh­wari Ku­mari’s record of 16 na­tional ti­tles.

Much in con­trast, top­seed Ma­hesh sur­vived three cham­pi­onship points and an in­tense bat­tle to beat Vikram 11­4, 13­15, 11­2, 5­11, 15­13, in an en­ter­tain­ing bat­tle that kept ev­ery­one glued to the ac­tion match of­fi­cials on their toes.

Ma­hesh had lost the fi­nal to 12­time na­tional cham­pion Sau­rav Ghosal last year, and was forced to earn the ti­tle the hard way.

Prais­ing Bhu­vanesh­wari for win­ning 16 ti­tles on the trot in the Na­tional cham­pi­onships, Joshna was quite clear that she would love to have more ti­tles and be the high­est ever.


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