India’s teenage table Diya Chitale, 19, didn’t let her cold and cough (due to weather changes and travel) affect her as she went on to win two gold medals at the Khelo India Youth Games in Panchkula, Haryana recently. In the U-18 singles final, she beat Delhi’s Lakshita Narang 4-3 (9-11, 11-6, 10-12, 11-3, 9-11, 11-4, 11-7) 4-3.

Meanwhile, in the girls’ doubles final, the duo of Chitale and Swastika Ghosh defeated Haryana’s Suhana Saini and Prithoki Chakraborti 14-12, 11-9, 11-6. Last month, Chitale won gold in the U-19 girls’ singles event of the WTT Youth Contender in Lima, Peru.

Chitale said the medals she won in Panchkula are special as she did it despite her illness and a crazy Luxembourg-Mumbai -Panchkula journey. “These medals [Khelo India] mean a lot. I was unwell [cough and cold] over the last few days, but I am very happy that I pushed myself harder, fought to the best of my abilities, and ended up winning two golds. Just one day before I was to leave for the tournament, an announcement was made that my name was included in the women’s team for the Commonwealth Games [July 28 to August 8 in Birmingham]. That gave me a lot of confidence. I also wanted to do well in order to further my belief that I really deserve this place in the team,” Chitale, who had approached the Delhi High Court over her exclusion from the women’s CWG squad, told

Later, she was included in the team for the July-August event at the expense of Archana Kamath. Chitale said she felt relieved when the Committee of Administrators (COA) reviewed their decision and named her to the team. “There was a lot going on in my mind emotionally with the provisional announcement of the CWG team and everything that followed. Fortunately for me, the CoA reviewed the decision of the selection committee and included my name in the CWG team. I deserved to be on the team on the basis of merit and when I got that, I was absolutely relieved and satisfied. This will further motivate me to always do my best. It is a challenge, but I have been facing these challenges over the years. I will put in my best effort to do well,” she explained.

As far as her preparations for CWG are concerned, they began a couple of years ago. “CWG was always a milestone for me in my journey. Based on a suggestion from my coach Sachin Shetty, I started training with Peter Engel in Germany in 2015. Specifically for the CWG, I started a different level of training a couple of years back. Going forward, the preparation now will be focused on the events that I need to play, especially women’s doubles. I hope I can give the best for my country,” revealed Chitale, who plans to participate in the WTT Feeder Otocec event before CWG.

“After the WTT event, we will have a CWG-focused camp which will be critical in preparation for the Games. I am waiting for the International calendar to be announced, to finalize the events that I will participate in after the CWG,” she signed off.

Source: Mid Day