Top seeds Mahesh Mangaonkar and Joshna Chinappa lived up to their billing to emerge the men’s and women’s national champions at the 76th Senior National Squash Championship here Sunday. In the men’s final, top seeded Mangaonkar outplayed second seeded Abhishek Pradhan 12-10, 11-7, 11-9 in an all Maharashtra battle. Top seeded Joshna won her record 17th National squash title subduing her fighting Tamil Nadu colleague and giant killer Sunayna Kuruvilla 11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-5. Chinappa set a new standard by winning the National Squash title for the 17th time to break a long-standing milestone set by Bhuvneshwari Kumari, the 16-time National champion, whose record stood for 27 years.
Rajasthan’s Bhuvneshwari Kumari had won the national titles from 1977 to 1992. On Sunday, the World No 13 Tamil Nadu player Joshna was up against No 3 seed Sunayana Kuruvilla in the women’s final, which she won 11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-5 as she took control of the match right from the start. She comfortably led 2-0 before Sunayana rallied to bridge the gap by winning the third game 11-7, but Joshna never lost her focus and went on to take the fourth 11-5 to win the title for record time.
Vikas Jangra of Rajasthan,Amitpal Kohli of Maharashtra,Saurabh Nayar of Chandigarh,Dalip Tripathi of WestBengal, Vivan Khubchand, Dushyant Jamwal of Delhi, Vijay Jaini of Haryana and Rajiv Reddy of Tamil Nadu emerged winners in other age group events. The prizes were distributed by Hindi film actor Jackie Shroff and other dignitaries.
Results: Women: Final Round: Joshana Chinappa (TN) 1] bt Sunayna Kuruvilla(TN)[3/4] 11-5, 11-4, 7-11, 11-5;
Men: Final Round: Mahesh Mangaonkar (Mah) bt Abhishek Pradhan (Mah)12-10, 11-7, 11-9;
Pro Coach: Final Round: Vikas Jangra (Raj) bt Abhinav Sinha (Mah)11-8, 11-5, 11-2.