In a historic moment on Thursday, Anahat Singh, a 15-year-old squash prodigy, etched her name in the annals of Indian sports history by becoming the youngest champion ever at the Senior National Squash Championships. The final match, which had the squash community abuzz, saw her opponent Tanvi Khanna retire midway due to an unfortunate injury.
Anahat, a rising star in Indian squash, demonstrated remarkable skill and determination throughout the tournament. Her journey to the championship match was notable not only for her exceptional gameplay but also for the age difference between her and Khanna, who is 12 years her senior. The opening game saw Anahat lose narrowly with a score of 9-11. However, she quickly rebounded in the second game, taking a 6-4 lead.
The turning point in the match occurred when Khanna suffered an injury to her knee. Anahat’s resilience and skill had put her in a favorable position, and Khanna, unable to continue due to the injury, retired from the match. This made Anahat Singh the youngest champion in the history of the Senior National Squash Championships, a title held for 23 years.
Anahat’s remarkable journey in squash began to gain attention even before her recent triumph. At the age of 14, she represented India in the 2022 Commonwealth Games, making her the youngest athlete to do so. Her participation in the Senior National Squash Championships marked only her second appearance in the tournament, with the previous year seeing her reach the final, where she faced off against the seasoned champion Joshna Chinappa.
In addition to her national achievements, Anahat Singh also made waves at the 2023 Asian Games, clinching bronze medals in both mixed doubles and teams. Her consistent performances at such a young age have positioned her as one of the brightest talents in Indian squash, drawing comparisons to the legendary Joshna Chinappa, who herself became the youngest champion in Indian history at the age of 14 in 2000.
Anahat Singh’s journey is not just a personal triumph but also a testament to the evolving landscape of Indian squash, where young talents are making their mark on the national stage and inspiring the next generation of athletes.