Dipika, Joshna arrive home to warm welcome

India's leading squash players, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal, returned to a warm welcome here on Monday night after winning silver medals at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.

Dipika and Joshna had to settle for a silver in the women's doubles competition. Dipika also won a historic silver in the mixed doubles with Saurav Ghosal.

"As defending champions, the thought of the past glory did come to the mind," said Joshna, who had won the gold medal in the Glasgow Games in 2014 alongside Dipika.

“Four years since, much has happened in squash. We were there on the podium then and the goal was not to miss that moment again. To that extent it was a satisfactory finish,” she said.

“We are encouraged to work harder for next big challenge, the Asian Games in August,” she added.

Dipika said the big satisfaction was that they had not come back empty-handed.

The duo felt refereeing could have been a lot better at the Games.

“After the final, even the New Zealand players agreed with us in this matter,” Joshna said.

Despite arriving at a late hour, the returning squash players were pleasantly surprised at the enthusiastic welcome.

“We are more than surprised at this reception,” said Joshna.

Harinder Pal Sandhu and national coach Cyrus Poncha also returned with the medal-winning duo.

The coach said it was an excellent result as the teams had come through tough encounters at the quarterfinal stage.

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami had on Monday announced cash incentives for medal winners including Joshna (Rs 30 lakh) and Dipika (Rs 60 lakh) and Ghosal (Rs 30 lakh).

Also, table tennis players Sharath Kamal (gold in team, bronze in men's singles and silver in men's doubles) and G Sathiyan (gold in team, silver in men's doubles and bronze in mixed doubles) would receive the cash awards.

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