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Dipika-Harinder progress to final, Abhay-Anahat face defeat

The Indian duo of Dipika Pallikal and Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu rallied to enter the final of the mixed doubles squash event with a 2-1 win over their opponents from Hong Kong at the Asian Games here on Wednesday. The Indians won 7-11, 11-7, 11-9 against Hong Kong’s Lee Ka Yi and Wong Chi Him. […]

The Indian duo of Dipika Pallikal and Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu rallied to enter the final of the mixed doubles squash event with a 2-1 win over their opponents from Hong Kong at the Asian Games here on Wednesday.
The Indians won 7-11, 11-7, 11-9 against Hong Kong’s Lee Ka Yi and Wong Chi Him. However, it was heartbreak for the second Indian pair of Abhay Singh and Anahat Singh as they lost to Aifa Binti Azman and Mohammad Syafiq Bin Mohd Kamal of Malaysia 11-8, 2-11, 9-11 in the other mixed doubles semi-final.
In a match that saw Anahat colliding with Azman, the Indians won the first game quite comfortably but lost their way in the second before the Malaysians emerged winners in the decisive tie, ensuring that it won’t be an all-India final in the mixed event.
“It wasn’t our day. In the last two points (of the third game) one was an error that I made, and the second one just came in the middle (of the court) and neither of us knew which one’s ball it was. Those last two points wasn’t how it was supposed to go,” 15-year-old Anahat said after the loss.
“Just winning the medal in general was really, really good. To get a bronze, that’s really good, a big deal at such an age. It does make me slightly happier, but it would have been better if we got gold or silver,” she added.
Earlier, the seasoned Dipika, who is playing her last Asian Games, and Harinder lost the opening game of their semifinal to Yi and Him, but staged a remarkable comeback to claim the next two games and emerge winners after 38 minutes of intense squash. While the Indians took just nine minutes to win the second game thanks to Harinder and Dipika’s excellent court coverage, the third game lasted 15 minutes as the pair from Hong Kong looked to stretch the decider. Even as the Indians advanced to the final, there was a moment of concern for the team when the ball struck Harinder in the face after a shot from Lee.

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