Won’t let issue of manipulated Asiad draw rest: Pallikal

New Delhi: After securing India’s maiden women’s singles squash medal at the Asian Games, a vindicated Dipika Pallikal has said she will continue to fight against the “manipulated” draw with higher authorities after being let down by the officials back home.

Pallikal, who lost to World No.1 Nicol David in the semifinals today, said she was pleased with her marathon winning effort against teammate Joshana Chinappa  hat assured her of a bronze yesterday, especially because it proved the “authorities and her doubters” wrong.

“This win (against) was really important for me. Some people thought I did not want to face Joshana when all along I maintained that the draw was manipulated. And I still feel the same even after I have won a medal for my country. Imagine we could have won two medals if Joshana was in the other half.

For future, I am exploring options how I can pursue this matter,” Pallikal told PTI from Incheon.

For one, Pallikal has the option of appealing to the ad hoc division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) set up at the Incheon Games. The CAS is an arbitration institution founded in 1984 and specialises in the resolution of sports law disputes.

The first Indian to break into world’s top-10 had considered pulling out of the Games after expressing her displeasure over the draw pitting her and Chinappa in the same half. She even wrote to the Indian squash federation (SRFI) but said she did not even get a reply. The SRFI had refuted Pallikal’s claims.

“This apathy of authorities doesn’t bother me anymore. I have been dealing with it ever since I was 14. Whatever I have done, it is my own effort and the support of my coaches and family. Besides that, there is no better feeling than representing India and walk around wearing national colours. That is mainly why I made up my mind to play here,” said Pallikal.

While the women’s draw courted controversy this time, top male player Saurav Ghosal had won back-to-back bronze medals in Doha 2006 and Guangzhou 2010 beating compatriots Ritwik Bhattacharya and Siddharth Suchde respectively in the quarterfinals, leading to allegations of a fixed draw.

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