India wins medals at World Racquetball Championships
Sathwik Rai, Raaj Mohan and Srikaran Kandadai represented the tri-color during the 9 day extravaganza and managed to battle their way to a Gold and Silver Medal. "This was a great debut World Championship for us. We are thrilled to have won medals at this prestigious global event", says team captain Sathwik unable to hold back his excitement.
The Championships are structured into Gold, Red, Blue and White Divisions according to the level of competition and difficulty involved. In the Team Event which is similar to the Davis Cup of Tennis, India bagged Gold in the White division, going past Tonga in the semi-finals, "Luck favored us in the team event and we bagged the first place since Argentina had to forfeit the finals due to an injury", says a very modest Raaj Mohan. In the Individual Events, Srikaran and Raaj beat Chinese Taipei and Tonga en route to the doubles finals where they lost a close match to favorites Ireland 14-15, 11-15, to win Silver in the White Division. Ask Srikaran about the experience of partnering with Raaj and he responds "For a team that has never played together until this event, we were happy with the way we combined and we can only get better from this experience." Sathwik made it to the quarterfinals of the Individual Singles in the White Division beating Chinese Taipei's Choung-yew Chang 15-4, 15-4.
Besides their stellar performances in the White Division, the trio made credible outings in the higher divisions as well. Led by Sathwik, the trio faced higher ranked opponents and world class players in the Gold and Red Divisions without fear and their talisman Raaj managed a quarter-final finish in the Red Division. Raaj beat China's Jeff Hwang. 15-7, 15-3 and then overcame Arnold Rocha from Bolivia 15-12, 15-11 en route to the quarter finals of the Red Division. Sathwik was all praise for his team-mate who was the pick of the Indian players, "Raaj in particular put on a great show and won several matches, and he was a key player for TEAM INDIA."