Know Your Asian Games Girls: Meet Squash Player Dipika Pallikal
India is sending an eight-member Squash squad for the Asian Games in Indonesia. Country’s top squash players have expressed their concerns over the sudden exit of the Egyptian coach Achraf Karargui. Ace squash player Dipika Pallikal Karthik called it an unfortunate event for the Indian team. Dipika is our medal hope in a discipline that has so far remained overshadowed by other racquet sports.
Here’s why you should watch out for Dipika Pallikal:
Now a Squash pro, Dipika had once dabbled with modelling. She was the face of Globus Ltd and in the past featured on the cover of Femina, Tamil Nadu. However, squash did not just happen out of nowhere for her. She has been playing the sport since her childhood and participated in her first international squash championship when she was in class six.
Sports run in her blood as her mother played international cricket for the Indian women’s team and also captained the team. Married to cricketer Dinesh Karthik, the 26-year-old even has her own logo. Chennai-born Dipika wears her attitude in style and is the first Indian to make it in the world’s top 10 squash players’ list. She admires tennis great Roger Federer.
Dipika came into the limelight in 2011, when she won three WISPA tour titles to attain a career-best ranking of 13th. In fact, in 2012 Dipika became the first squash player to be bestowed with an Arjuna award. In 2014, she stepped ahead in the game and was awarded a Padma Shri. Some of her achievements so far:
- Dipika grabbed Silver in Women’s Double Squash in Commonwealth Games 2018.
- Dipika is the first Indian to make it in the world’s top 10 squash players’ list. Before that, she also became the first Indian to break into the top 20 list.
- In January 2012, Dipika became the first Indian ever to reach the final of the Tournament of Champions squash meet in New York.
- Now she aims to achieve the World No. 1 ranking, and to win India’s highest civilian honour, the Bharat Ratna.
- The year 2014 also marked another important year for her career as she won the Women’s Doubles Gold Medal along with Joshna Chinappa at the Commonwealth Games. She then clinched a bronze medal in women’s singles at the Asian Games.
- In 2016, she was part of the gold-medal-winning Indian Women’s team at the South Asian Games and the silver-medal-winning Indian Women’s team at the Asian Team Championship.
Squash games will be held at the Gelora Bung Karno Hall D, Jakarta, Indonesia from 23 August to 1 September.
SheThePeople.TV wishes all athletes best of luck at the upcoming Asian Games.
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Feature Image Credit: santabanta.com