Interviews

“Anytime I win a medal for the country, it’s a very special moment”

Joshna Chinappa with a copy of The Teenager Today
(left) Squash champion Joshna Chinappa holding a copy of the December issue of The Teenager Today
Photo: © Verus Ferreira

Joshna Chinappa is a two-time Asian Championship gold medallist. In 2014, she became the first Indian to win a gold medal in doubles at the Commonwealth Games, and has also inscribed her name at the British U.S. Open and National Championships. She reached a career-high world ranking of World No. 10 in July 2016. She was the first Indian to win the British Junior Squash Championship title in 2005 in the under-19 category, and was considered as one of the youngest Indian Women’s National Champions. At the Women’s Asian Individual Squash Championships of 2017, she won gold becoming the first Asian squash champion from India.

The squash champion from Chennai was in Mumbai in late December to launch (along with Indian cricketer Prasidh Krishna) the official merchandise of the Tata Mumbai Marathon in 2023 at the Asics store. VERUS FERREIRA met up with the 36-year-old player, a vision of calm and poise, to chat about everything from her intensive training regimen to pre-match rituals to her food cravings.

How did you start playing squash?
Well, my dad introduced me to the game as he’s a squash player and used to play for the State. I started playing at the Madras Cricket Club where all the big cricket matches like the IPL take place and that was my home club. I used to follow my dad to the courts and I had a lot of friends who were of my age group. We were all about 8 or 9 years old and we used to run to play at the squash court and that’s how it all started.

Did you ever think of any other game besides squash?
I used to play tennis and badminton as seriously as squash when I was younger, but my parents told me to choose any one sport because they didn’t want me to play everything and not be good at any. I ended up choosing squash because my dad had played it and so there was a lot of familiarity with the sport. He helped me because he was my coach for a very long time till I was 10 or 11, then I started playing tournaments and started winning and that helped me continue to play squash professionally.

Cover of the February 2023 issue of The Teenager Today featuring Veronica Fusaro

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Verus Ferreira is a music journalist for over three decades. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book and the founder of Musicunplugged.in

Verus Ferreira

Verus Ferreira is a music journalist for over three decades. He is the author of The Great Music Quiz Book and The Great Rock Music Quiz Book and the founder of Musicunplugged.in