Dipika Pallikal has admitted that although it is tough to imagine going to the CWG without coach Achraf El Karargui, the Squash team is determined to defend the Doubles’ Gold title. Pallikal is optimistic about her chances in Gold Coast as she aims for a medal in the Singles’ category as well.
But all that has changed in the last four weeks, which seen Karagui step down from his role as coach of the Indian Squash contingent just weeks before the 2018 CWG in Gold Coast. Pallikal admitted that she was extremely ‘disheartened’ with the news but concedes that as professionals it is the team’s duty to defend their Gold in the upcoming tournament regardless of the circumstances.
"I cannot speak for others but it (not having a coach) is disheartening. I have been training with him for over two years and it is hard not to have him in your corner during the Games. Having said that, we are all professionals and we
"He (Karargui) was the biggest asset for the team. I think he has changed a lot for Indian squash. For me, I know that I will be on a phone call with him
Pallikal added that while things were different four years ago when the Indian’s were considered as underdogs at the tournament, it’s not the same case this time around. Pallikal has a
"Our best chance is women's doubles but anything can happen in that format as we don't play it often. As of now, singles will be played first and we are focussed on that. There is a good chance of winning a singles medal too.
"Every match is going to be hard. Without a
Pallikal added that her husband and cricketer, Dinesh Karthik, served as an inspiration for her ahead of the tournament. She opined that his match-winning six versus Bangladesh in the finals of the Nidahas Trophy was a reward for his hard work over the years.
"It has been very hard two years for both of us. We have hardly have spent anytime because of our hectic schedules. He totally deserves what he has achieved in the last one year and surely it gives me additional motivation to do well too," she said referring to Karthik, who cheered her on from the sidelines in Glasgow four years ago.
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