2014 CWG gold medalist Mahesh Mangaonkar believes that the Indian squash team is heading to Indonesia to defend their title that they won in South Korea four years ago. Mangaonkar believes that Asian counterparts, Hong Kong, will be their toughest opponents at this year’s Asian Games in Jakarta.
Mangaonkar was just 20 when he won gold at the Asian Games at Incheon four years ago. Although the youngster did not play then, he has certainly cemented his spot in the Indian squash team along with the likes of Joshna Chinappa, Saurav Ghosal, and Dipika Pallikal amongst others.
And the young lad from Mumbai recently told PTI that the Indian squash contingent certainly expected to defend their title as they flew out to Indonesia for this year’s Asian Games that will begin on August 18 in Jakarta and Palembang.
“Yes. We are trying to win it (the gold). We never try for (just) a podium finish and we always try to win the gold. Obviously, we are going with the expectation of defending it (title) again and just the fact that last time, we beat Malaysia in the final (is a morale booster),” Mangaonkar told PTI sources.
Mangaonkar, who is currently ranked number three in India, spoke on the sidelines of the 43rd Maharashtra State men’s squash tournament which was being held at Bombay Gymkhana, where he was the top-seeded player. The former British Junior Open winner also added that even though the draw for the Asian Games is yet to be completed, the players from Hong Kong will definitely give the Indians a run for their money.
“This year, we are likely to play them (Malaysia) in the semi-finals, if we get there. And semi-finals again will be a tough match. And in the final, if we win the semis, then we expect to play Hong Kong