Yuvraj Wadhwani of India is the Crown of Asian Junior Champion

File Photo: Squash team
Sporting India|29-Sep-2018 21:32

Chennai: Yuvraj Wadhwani was India's hero at the 25th Asian junior individual squash championship on the final day here on Saturday. The U-13 top seed turned an Asian champion and theyoung talent could hardly hide his emotions. Tears welled up in his eyes as he screamed and ran inside the court watching a return of his take the nick and leave his opponent Anas Ali Shah of Pakistan beaten on the final point. Yuvraj thus become the second Indian boy to win the U-13 title, after Veer Chotrani had won in 2014 in Iran and eighth overall.

It was a moment of of reckoning for this young lad from Mumbai, a 7th standard student of Bombay Scottish school, Mahim. “He badly wanted to win and that is why when he finally did win he could not control his tears,”said his mother watching his young son become the cynasure of all eyes around the glass court. It was not an easy win at all, not against a sprighly opponent who was willing to try anything and everything to unsettle the Indian. Where Yuvraj stood out was his ability even under pressure to come up with some spectacular volleys to the corners or just above the tin. Most times that were not just winners but stress busters. Aside from that was the young mind's intelligent thinking in varying his returns in strength and direction. Not that Shah was any less talented. In fact for much of the first game he had the advantage but it did the Indians morale a big boost when he was able to grab that game. The next game showed that with Yuvraj virtually running away.

Shah returned stronger in the third, got his winners and forced Yuvraj to errors. Once Yuvraj even went sprawling on the court unable to reach an away ball. But shrugging aside the incident and the loss, the Indian went about with purpose and in the end when he grabbed that last point of the well fought fourth game which came when his power-packed volley saw the ball take the nick of the side wall, Wadhwani seemed dazed initially, then his eyes filled up and then came the gestures of a winner!

For India that was the high point of the day, with Arnav Sareen the other finalist unable to carve a winning path in the U-15 section. The Pune boy was unable to come to terms against the fast mover Mohammad Hamza Khan of Pakistan. Hamza was quick to the ball and packed a punch in his strokes which straightaway stretched Sareen. Though he seemed in line to wriggle out in the second, unexpected 'stroke calls' went against him and the arrears soon became insurmountable. Sareen settled for the runner up spot.

The courts were then open for players from Hong Kong, Malaysia and Pakistan to fight it out in the other age categories. India thus came out of the championship with a gold, a silver and four bronze medals (Kavya Bansal, Tiana Parasrampuria, Sanya Vats and Tushar Shahani). Pakistan dominated the boys section with three gold medals while Malaysia and Hong Kong won two gold medals each in the girls.

The results:

Boys:

U-19: final: Abbas Zeb (3 /4) PAK bt Chung Yat Long (2)HK 11-4, 11-3, 11-4; bronze: Siow Yee Xian (MAS) and Tushar Shahani (IND)

U-17:final: Haris Qasim (5/8) PAK bt Muhammad Amir Amirul Bin Azar (MAS) 10-12, 8-11, 11-9, 11-5, 11-9 bronze: Daniel Nurhaqiem (MAS) and Nathan Kueh Tze Bing (MAS);

U-15: final: Mohammad Hamza Khan ( 3 /4) PAK bt Arnav Sareen 3 /4) IND 11-6, 11-9, 11-7; bronze: Andrik Lim Kai Shan (MAS) and Joachim Chuah Han Wen (MAS)

U-13: final: Yuvraj Wadhwani (1) IND bt Anas Ali Shah PAK 13-11, 11-5, 6-11, 12-10; bronze: Tam Tsz Shing (HK) and Sze Jun Him (HK)

Girls:

U-19: final: Chan Yiwen (2) MAS bt Lai Wen Li (1) MAS 12-10,12-10, 11-2; bronze: Ooi Kah Yan (MAS) and Cheng Nga Ching (HK)

U-17: final: Chan Sin Yuk (1) HK bt Jessica Keng Jia Hui (2) MAS 11-2, 12-10, 11-9; bronze: Sanya Vats (IND) and Fung Ching Hei (HK)

U-15: final: Aira Azman (1) MAS bt Yee Xin Ying (2) MAS 11-9, 4-11, 11-8, 11-3; bronze: Wong Po Yui Kirstie (HK) and Tse Yee Lam Toby (HK)

U-13: final: Leung Ka Huen (1) HK bt Lee Sze Lok (2) HK 11-3, 5-11, 11-5, 11-5; bronze: Kavya Bansal (IND) and Tiana Parasrampuria (IND)

The medals were given away by Mr Huang Ying How, Vice President, World Squash Federation, Mr Debendranath Sarangi, President, Squash Rackets Federatin of India and Mr Peter Chee, Tournament Director.