Saurav Ghosal bags India's first-ever singles CWG medal in squash
India's Saurav Ghosal won the bronze medal in the men's singles squash event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Birmingham. He defeated defending champion James Willstrop of England 3-0 (11-6, 11-1, 11-4). Notably, the former has bagged India's first-ever singles medal in the sport at the Games. Ghosal won silver in mixed doubles with Dipika Pallikal in the 2018 CWG.
In the first game, Ghosal claimed five consecutive points to take a 6-2 lead. His opponent and former world number one Willstrop succumbed to the Indian's movement. Ghosal went on the seal the game 11-6. He was even more dominant in the second game, securing an 11-1 win. The third game was evenly poised, but Ghosal managed to win eventually (11-4).
Ghosal defeated Sri Lanka's Shamil Wakeel 3-0 (11-4, 11-4, 11-6) in the tournament opener. The former then overcame Canada's David Baillargeon 3-0 (11-6, 11-2, 11-6). Ghosal reached the quarter-final after beating Scotland's Greg Lobban 3-1 (11-5, 8-11, 11-7, 11-3). The Indian faced world number two Paul Coll in the semi-final, who handed him a 3-0 defeat (11-9, 11-4, 11-1).
Ghosal, 35, has broken plenty of records so far. He has won all three medals (gold, silver, and bronze) over multiple editions (singles and team events) at the Asian level. In April 2019, Ghosal became the first Indian man to enter the top 10 of the Professional Squash Association (PSA) rankings. Later, he became the first Indian man to win the Asian Championship title.
Ghosal, who was born on August 10, 1986, hails from Kolkata, West Bengal. He studied at Lakshmipat Singhania Academy in Kolkata. Ghosal moved to ICL squash academy in Chennai after completing his higher studies. Major (Rtd) Maniam and Cyrus Poncha mentored him there. Ghosal presently resides in Leeds and trains with Malcolm Willstrop at Pontefract Squash Club in West Yorkshire.
In August 2007, Ghosal was conferred the Arjuna award by the President of India. The former became the first squash player from the country to receive the prestigious award. He claimed the honor after winning the bronze medal at the Doha Asian Games.