The 74th HCL National Squash Championship is underway from August 21 at the Shiv Nadar University in Greater Noida. A record 554 players across different categories will participate in National Squash Championship in Noida. This is the highest number of participation for any squash tournament in India till date. However, the gender numbers are skewed with 312 men and only 65 women in the fray. The Championship is HCL’s second initiative to promote squash in the country with a total prize purse of Rs. 11,02500 to the players
The Top Ranked Players
Joshana Chinappa and Saurav Ghosal are the top seeded players of the tournament in women’s and men’s section respectively. Saurav will fight to defend his title while women’s defending champion Dipika Pallikal Karthik withdrew from the championship owing to an ankle injury.
11-time National Champion Arjuna Awardee Saurav Ghosal, India Rank No. 1 and World Rank No. 27 holds an impeccable record since he won his first title in 2004. This unstoppable player has stiff opposition in the form of Ritwik Bhattacharya and Harinder Pal Singh who could stop him in the race to finish.
14-time national champion Joshana Chinappa, India Rank No. 1 and World Rank No. 14 and also an Arjuna Awardee is the highest-ranked Indian in the world and the winner of the 2017 Asian Squash championship. She has been playing Nationals since the age of 12.
Egyptian coach Ashraf El Karargi has been instrumental in mentoring and honing the skills of the players in the national circuit. He has helped everyone get better results in about a year thus earning him an extension of two-year contract.
The Championship will be open to both men and women in various categories. Matches for other categories including Professional Coach and over 35, 40, 45, 50, 55 and over 60 for men only will also take place. The knockout format will be followed with the top eight players receiving a prize money in the men, women and Professional Coach categories. In six other categories only winners and runners-up will be awarded. The top player will get ranking points to be included in the national ranking list in the relevant age group.
The seven-star tournament will be conducted from August 21 to 26, 2017. It is organised under the aegis of the Squash Rackets Federation of India (SRFI) and UP Squash Rackets Association. The Championship is part of HCL’s CSR efforts to promote Squash in the country and create platforms that allow the country’s talented players to hone their skills.
Events – Mens, Women’s, Professional Coach, MO35, MO40, MO45, MO50, MO55, MO60
Prize money – INR 11,02,500
Registration Closing Date – 1st Aug 2017 Entry Fee – INR 1,200
Venue – Shiv Nadar University, NH91, Tehsil Dadri, Gautam Buddha Nagar, Greater Noida- 201314
Format – Knockout
Play offs – Top 4 (Men’s & Women’s only)
Seeding as per SRFI Championship Committee
Courts – 4 Glass back courts + 1 All glass court
Functions – Prize Distribution ceremony on 26th August at 3pm.
Image credit – Facebook page of HCL Enterprise
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