Saurav Ghosal Squanders Lead, Misses Historic Asian Games Squash Gold

Updated: 23 September 2014 15:29 IST

Saurav Ghosal had beaten world top-10 player Ong Beng Hee of Malaysia in the Asian Games semifinals at Incheon. He lost the final against Kuwait's Abdullah Al Muzayen.

Saurav Ghosal Squanders Lead, Misses Historic Asian Games Squash Gold
Saurav Ghosal in action during Asian Games. © AFP

Saurav Ghosal failed to create history at Incheon on Tuesday as he lost the chance to become the first Indian to win a men's singles Asian Games squash gold. In a thrilling final against Kuwait's Abdullah Al Muzayen at Yeorumul Squash Courts , Ghosal lost 3-2 after winning the first two games. The marathon final lasted 102 minutes. India remain with just one gold medal so far after Jitu Rai had won a shooting gold on the first day of the competition on September 20. (Asian Games Day 4 Live Blog | Tally | Schedule)

Ghosal, world No. 16, was the favourite to win gold. But Al Muzayen, world No. 46, gave the Indian a tough fight, coming back from two games down and forcing the deciding fifth. Ghosal won the first 12-10 and carried the momentum into the second to decimate the Kuwaiti 11-2. (Abhinav Bindra finishes Asian Games career with bronze)

Al Muzayen came back strongly. The third game went neck and neck, with the Kuwaiti winning 14-12. The fourth game was also clinched 11-8 by Al Muzayen as Ghosal showed signs of nerves and lethargy. (Judoka wins bronze with dislocated shoulder)

The fifth was another thriller. Ghosal blew an early lead as the 26-year-old 2010 Gulf champion Al Muzayen caught up 3-3, only to overtake the Indian at 8-7. Playing his second Asian Games, Al Muzayen never looked back and won the game 11-9. This has been his biggest career victory.

Ghosal has been an Asian Games veteran. Before the Incheon Games, the Kolkata-born Indian star had won three bronze medals - two individual and a team. The 28-year-old from Kolkata became the first Indian to make the quarterfinals of the world championship in Manchester last year. The Asian Games gold would have been a perfect way to cap his 12-year-old international career.

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