HCL 78th National Championship Concludes
Over 450 players participated in the Championship out of which 80 were women; it is the highest participation from women to date indicating an increasing interest for Squash in India
Joshana Chinappa and Abhay Singh from Tamil Nadu won the National Squash Champion in the men’s and women’s categories respectively
Chennai, December 10, 2022: HCL, a leading global conglomerate, today announced the successful completion of the 78th National Squash Championship Tournament. Organised by HCL and the Squash Rackets Federation of India, this championship is hailed as the biggest battleground for squash in the country. The championship witnessed over 450 player entries out of which 80 were women. Abhay Singh and Joshana Chinappa from Tamil Nadu clinched the trophies in the men’s and women’s categories. Players competed for a total prize purse of 8.85 Lakh rupees.
The winners were felicitated by Shri N. Ramachandran, a patron at the Squash Rackets Federation of India, 7th President of the World Squash Federation, Dr. K. P. Karthikeyan (IAS), Member Secretary of Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu and Mr Rajat Chandolia, AVP and Head of Brand HCL. The championship was held at the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai from December 4 to 10, 2022. The top players from the Championship will also receive ranking points and will be included in the National ranking list in the respective age groups.
The tournament witnessed participation from some of the top-ranked Indian players including Joshana Chinappa, Abhay Singh, Akanksha Salunkhe, Urwashi Joshi and Velavan Senthilkumar along with Anahat Singh who had also represented India as the youngest athlete in the Commonwealth Games 2022.
Congratulating the winners, Mr Rajat Chandolia, AVP and Head of Brand HCL said, “We at HCL believe in ‘Multiplying Human Potential’ which is reflected in all initiatives that we support including squash. We have been focusing on promoting squash since 2016 and this year’s national championship is a milestone in our effort to popularize squash. Nationals are the most prestigious event in the Indian squash calendar where we have players participating from all age groups apart from men and women. The national championship was organised as a part of HCL’s ongoing Squash Podium Program which aims at enabling more Indian players to earn better rankings and enter the league of nationally and internationally ranked squash players. We are glad that through our consistent efforts, we have been able to support Indian players, enabling them to bring home accolades from international competitions.”
Mr. Cyrus Poncha, Secretary-General, SRFI said, “This time in the National Squash Championship, some of the best talents across 20 states have participated to boost their national rankings and compete with internationally ranked squash champions like Joshna Chinappa, Abhay Singh, Velavan Senthilkumar and Anahat Singh. With HCL’s support, we have been able to increase the players’ ranking at an international level, and raise awareness and enthusiasm for Squash every year. This year specifically has been a testament to the efforts that we have put together, with our players making headlines during Commonwealth Games. India now has the 3rd highest number of players on the PSA/World Ranking list after Egypt and England. We are committed to the sport’s growth and will continue with our efforts to encourage more players to compete.”
The final match in the men’s category was played between Abhay Singh (Rank 3) and Velavan Senthilkumar (Rank 9) where Abhay Singh from Tamil Nadu won the title with a score of 11-13, 11-7, 11-6, 11-4 in a match lasting 48 minutes. In the women’s category, Joshana Chinappa (Rank 1) emerged victorious against Anahat Singh (Rank 3), in a riveting match that lasted for 25 minutes with a score of 11-8, 11-9, 11-9.