Asian Jr. Squash: Kush, Anaka Alankamony win titles

Asian Jr. Squash: Anaka, Kush Kumar win titlesKush Island: Anaka Alankamony retained the girls Under-19 title, Kush Kumar annexed the crown in the boys Under-19 category as Indians delivered two gold medals at the 19th Asian junior squash championship that concluded here Saturday.

Alankamony became the first Indian to win back to back while Kush Kumar won his maiden Asian title. Both are trainees of the Indian Squash Academy in Chennai and students of SSN College of Engineering and Seventh Day Adventist, respectively.

Unfortunately, it was not to be a third title for India as unseeded Dev Vazirani from Mumbai fell at the final hurdle.

Alankamony used her volleys and drops to great effect to keep her opponent Ka Po Ho at bay. With a 2-0 lead, she was in total control of the third game leading 7-3 but then became defensive and Ka Po took advantage of this to win the game.

Alankamony started with aggression in the fourth and ensured she took home the girls u19 gold 11-3, 11-5, 7-11, 11-4 (39 minutes).

Kush Kumar started off in style rushing to a 4-1 lead. However, the steady Gursharan clawed his way back to win the opening game.

The next two games were close until 5-all, but Gursharan was not able to handle Kush's volley drops and steady play.

Leading 2-1, Kush began to play defensive and lost the fourth game. A very close and tense game saw both players keeping the ball in play and going point for point until 9-all. A brilliant cross court volley drop and a straight forehand drive gave Kush the victory.

Vazirani's giant-killing run in the boys Under-13 ended against Pakistani Hammas Tara. A student of Bombay Scottish School (Mahim), Vazirani gave it all he had, but Tara was stronger on the day. Dev lost in straightgame 9-11, 9-11, 7-11.

Overall, it was a successful outing for the Indian contingent that won two golds (Anaka Alankamony and Kush Kumar), one silver (Vazarani) and six bronze medals (Ashita Bhengra, Nikita Joshi, Harshit Jawanda, Robin Mann, Vijay Meena Kumar and Mahesh Mangaonkar).