National Squash | Velavan and Anahat emerge victorious

A win is a win: Velavan’s victory came after a close match against Abhay whereas Anahat’s triumph was confirmed as Tanvi had to concede due to an injury.

A win is a win: Velavan’s victory came after a close match against Abhay whereas Anahat’s triumph was confirmed as Tanvi had to concede due to an injury.
| Photo Credit: RAGU R

Velavan Senthilkumar (Tamil Nadu) and Anahat Singh (Delhi) won their maiden men’s and women’s National titles at the 79th National squash championships in the Indian Squash and Triathlon Academy (ISTA) here on Thursday.

The 15-year-old Anahat is the second youngest ever to clinch the women’s crown, only behind Joshna Chinappa who won her first title in 2000 as a 14-year-old.

Unfortunate

In the first match of the day, top seed Tanvi Khanna (Delhi) had to concede the final to Anahat after picking up a right knee injury. In the second game of the summit clash, she collided with Anahat and immediately went down clutching her right knee. Anahat was awarded the point and went up 6-4.

She went out of the court, was tended to, and was given a 3-minute recovery time. She tried walking around a bit and with 15 seconds left, she conceded the game. The official declared that Anahat had won the second game 11-4.

As the 2-minute break between the games was elapsing thereafter, Tanvi conceded the match. This was unfortunate for Tanvi as she had won the first game 11-9. Tanvi said she doesn’t know the nature of her injury.

“I’m not as happy as I would’ve been if I had won it properly,” said Anahat after the match.

Battle of nerves

In the men’s final, it was neck and neck in the first and third games. It was a battle of nerves and the confident Velavan prevailed in the crunch moments. He was up 10-9 before defending champion Abhay Singh (TN) saved a game point to draw level 10-10, but he went on to claim the first game 12-10.

He saved two game points from 8-10 down to make it 10-all and eventually clinched the third game 12-10.

“It was more of a mental battle than a physical battle. Mentally, I could keep pushing for every single point and I’m really proud of that,” said Velavan after the match.

The results (final): Men: Velavan Senthilkumar (TN) bt Abhay Singh (TN) 12-10, 11-3, 12-10. Women: Anahat Singh (Del) bt Tanvi Khanna (Del) (retd.) 9-11, 11-4.

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