New Delhi: The Indian team, including Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal Karthik, will be heading to Paris on Saturday to participate in the World Women’s team squash championship scheduled to be held in the French capital from November 27 to December 3.
Unlike in the past, the team had a rigorous camp stretching to over three weeks at the Indian Squash Academy here under the watchful eyes of both National coach Cyrus Poncha and Egyptian coach Achraf El Karargui.
Besides Chinappa and Pallikal, Akanksha Salunkhe and Sunayna Kuruvilla are also in the team and Karargui said he was happy that all members showed the deserved importance to the camp.
“They are all tuned up and should do well,” he said. On the last occasion in 2014 in Canada, India, which was unseeded, went on to finish 14th.
Joshna, highest ranked Indian (13 in the PSA list), said the break from the PSA tour had helped her in recouping andalso in sharpening skills at the camp. She said the interaction with Karargui was helpful and she felt positivevibes from the foreign coach’s advices.
Poncha, who is travelling with the team along with Physio M Dimple, said that it was nice to see the preparations butfelt the challenge ahead was overwhelming.
“Our first target will be to qualify for the last eight and that if achieved in itself will be exceptional,” he said.
India is seeded 9th this time but grouped along with title aspirants and top seed Egypt, higher seeded New Zealand (eight) and Mexico (13).
India has a tough task ahead in aiming to finish second in the Group, which is the minimum requirement for qualifyingto the last eight.
As things stand, India has to beat both Mexico and New Zealand for that. On paper a win against Mexico is not anissue but Joelle King-led New Zealand is a different cup of tea.