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With squash set for Olympics debut in 2028, Ghosal tempted to prolong career

Mumbai, Oct 16 (IANS) Soon after he lost the men’s singles final in the Asian Games in Hangzhou a few days back, India’s best-ever squash player Saurav Ghosal was asked whether the 37-year-old will pursue a dream gold medal in the next Asian Games in 2026?

Ghosal, the most successful male squash player at Asian Games with nine medals, was not ready to commit and said he will have to consider a lot of things, consult his family and support team before making a decision.

On Monday, when squash gained its maiden entry into the Olympic Games after it was approved as one of the five additional sports for the 2028 Games in Los Angeles, Ghosal was asked the same question again — does he see himself representing India in the Los Angeles Olympic Games five years down the line?

Ghosal, who would be 42-years-old at the time of Los Angeles Olympic Games in July 2028, said the dream of playing in the Olympics will seriously tempt him to prolong his career till end of 2028.

“Look, if the 2028 Olympics wasn’t there, I don’t think I’ll be playing till then. Let’s put it that way. I do not know yet if I’m going to do it. I need some time to sit down with my team, my family and figure out. Of course, if I play 2028, I want to qualify and try and win a medal for India. I need to sit down with my team and see if it’s a realistic possibility,” Ghosal said on Monday, soon after representing the World Squash Federation in the 141st IOC Session in Mumbai.

“I hope that I can do it; no promises right now, but it’s definitely something that’s a big pull for me now. I will do everything I can to try my best and be there,” Ghosal added.

“I wish I was 10 years younger, no doubt about it,” said Ghosal who won the team gold and silver in Individual competitions in Hangzhou Asian Games

Ghosal said it was a big achievement for squash to finally manage to get into the Olympics, even though it was a one-off opportunity.

“It’s an absolutely monumental day for world squash. Every squash player worth his salt has dreamt of this day. We’re excited that finally, finally, after all these years of perseverance, which is what this game is all about, we’re finally making it to LA 28. We hope to humbly showcase to the world that we deserve to be on this platform,” said Ghosal

The 37-year-old, who had achieved his best-ever World Ranking of No. 10 in April 2019, said it will be a great opportunity for young Indian squash players like Anahat Singh, who is 15, and Abhay Singh, both of whom won the mixed doubles bronze in the Asian Games earlier this month. Though the competitions in Los Angeles will be only in men’s and women’s singles, Ghosal said it will be an opportunity to relish for youngsters.

“This is the epitome of world squash, of world sport. You ask anyone who has even won 7-8 world titles, they will be ready to give up every single one of them to be able to get that one Olympic medal. It opens up a lot of avenues of building infrastructure, taking it to the grassroots, really making a more broad-based sport in the country, which is a great thing for India.

“For players, this is something to aim for. We have something tangible to look at — five years from now, we’re going to be in LA. Of course, we have to qualify for it. We know that there is a shot. If we can make that shot, qualify and win a medal for India, that is the biggest source of pride that anyone will achieve in sporting language,” Ghosal said.

The player from Kolkata will now hope to make one last bid to fulfil something he had dreamed of a decade back as squash had made numerous attempts to get into the Olympics but suffered close setbacks.

Now Los Angeles 2028 is a tangible goal for Ghosal and as he says he will try his best to achieve this dream.

–IANS

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Indian Abroad News Desk
Indian Abroad News Deskhttps://www.indianabroad.news
Indian Abroad is a news channel and fortnightly newspaper meant for Australia’s Indian community and, besides news, focuses on lifestyle subjects like health, travel, culture, arts, beauty, fashion, entertainment, Bollywood, etc. Our YouTube channel here features daily news bulletins besides infotainment videos on lifestyle subjects.

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