Alma mater steps up for squash champ – The New Indian Express
Express News Service
CHENNAI: Abhay Singh, who is part of the Indian squash team for both the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, was felicitated by his alma mater Guru Nanak College recently. The winner of French Lorient Open got financial support to the tune of Rs 10 lakh. The student of the Indian Squash Academy, is happy to get support from the college he studied in and is keen to bag a medal in the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
“Guru Nanak College has always been very supportive towards athletes from all sports so that was the reason why I joined the college to do my B. Com. I am grateful for their support and I am proud to have been their student,” he said.
Noted coach Cyrus Poncha who has seen Abhay evolve as a player at the Indian Squash Academy is all praises for him. Abhay credits his success to the academy, its infrastructure and coaching standards. “I’ve grown up at the Indian Squash Academy; I started at Under-11 and I’m 23 now, so it’s been a great journey. I’ve met some wonderful people and worked with some great coaches. I spend most of my time there and it’s paying off,” he said.
Having given some notable performances in the last few years, Abhay believes his selection trials for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games was his best performance to date. “I played four matches at the trials and won all four. Three of those matches were against players I had lost to the last time I played them, so that was very satisfying,” he said.
Abhay idolises Cristiano Ronaldo. When at the academy, he trains two times a day, one is a squash session, the other is a fitness session and does yoga in the afternoon at his house. “B Balamurugan has been my coach for seven-eight years and he’s the best coach in India. I was also coached by the late Malcolm Willstrop who I will always be indebted to.”
Some of the top players of the world will be seen in action at the Commonwealth Games. But Abhay is hopeful he will get a podium finish. “I am playing singles and doubles at the CWG, where a medal at the singles event looks tough because there are going to be eight players from the top 25 in the world. I’m confident that in the men’s doubles, me and my partner can work towards a medal,” said Abhay.