Velavan Senthilkumar wins U-19 Asian title

Velavan Senthilkumar wins U-19 Asian title

Velavan Senthilkumar wins U-19 Asian title

India's emerging player Velavan Senthilkumar came from two games down to beat Jordan's Mohammad Al-Sarraj 12-14 9-11 11-6 11-8 11-7 and bag the U-19 Asian Junior Individual squash championship title here today.

The Chennai lad, who trains at the Indian Squash Academy (ISA), is the second Indian to win the title after Ravi Dixit in 2010.

Incidentally Dixit also used to train at the ISA.

In terms of seedings, Velavan being second and Sarraj, fourth, this was an expected outcome but the Jordanian had looked in a fine nick during his semi-final match when he accounted for the top seed and reigning world junior champion Ng Eain Yow of Malaysia.

According to coach Bala Murugan, Velavan took time to settle down but once he got into the rhythm there was no looking back.

"It was only after losing good ground that he changed tactics and decided to raise the pace of the match. Keeping the rallies long and laborious for the rival, he made the Jordanian work hard and the resultant tiredness told on his game. Velavan was a different player once he tasted success in the third game," said the coach.

In Chennai, a delighted national coach Cyrus Poncha said that the success was a great moment for Indian squash.

"I have been expecting this from Velavan and he has lived upto our expectations with his tremendous victory. It is a proud moment," he said.

From among 31 Indian players in various age categories at the tournament, there were two more medal winners in Tushar Shahani, who claimed a silver in boys'U-17, and Yash Fadte who earned a bronze in boys' U-15 section.