Joshna nails Maria for gold

Joshna nails Maria for gold
Joshna Chinnappa won a tempestuous women’s singles gold medal match against Maria Toorpaki Wazir here at the 12th South Asian Games on Monday and later the Indian squash star accused her Pakistani rival of unfair play.

Time and again during the final at RG Baruah Sports Complex, both the players kept bumping into each other with each one accusing the other of intentionally intervening. Almost every point was hotly contested with both players arguing the decision of the referees.

There were so many flash points in the contest that main referee had to warn both the players to not to dramatise the action on court but rather continue playing. Despite the warning, there was no end to the bitter tussle inside the court with Joshna eventually winning a slug-fest 10-12, 11-7, 11-9, 11-7.

“It was such a tough match for me, physically and emotionally,” said Joshna “It was roller-coaster of a match. I’m happy that I pulled through and won the gold for India. I play a lot on PSA tour and most of the girls there play fair and clean. And that’s the kind of game that I like to play. Unfortunately, today was not a nice game to watch. Personally, I think the opponent was way too aggressive and there was lot of interference when it need not have been that way. We both want to win but there is a way to win as well. I really didn’t appreciate a lot of things that happened on court today. I’m happy, given the way the match was played, that I won the gold.”

Joshna felt the referees could have handled the issue better. “I don’t want to get into trouble with anything by accusing the referees. I’m glad there are some international referees here. To be honest, they are more or less fair. The decisions are not bad decisions. I just feel a lot more can be said to a particular player who involve themselves in blocking or interfering in play. It’s the referee’s job to tell them to contain themselves. I think if the referees can do that more, then the game would be played in a better spirit.” World No 14 Joshna said she allowed the emotions to get the better of herself at times in the final.

“There was no pressure but I knew what I had to expect from my opponent. I knew a lot of stuff would happen on court. I was sort of prepared for that. At times, I let the emotions get the better of me. But for me it was also important to state the facts that was happening on court. I’m not someone who is going to keep quiet when nonsense is happening on court. For me it was also important for the referees to see what was happening on court.”

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