With eyes firmly set on the 2028 Los Angeles Olympics, young squash players Anahat Singh, Abhay Singh and Velavan Senthilkumar were on Tuesday included in the TOPS Development Group.

Squash, which was inducted in the 2028 Olympics programme in October, is popular in India, with exponents doing well in the Asian and Commonwealth Games.

For years, Saurav Ghosal, Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa have kept the flame burning and are now passing the baton to the next generation of players like Anahat, Abhay and Velavan.

“The inclusion of squash in the TOPS programme marks a pivotal moment for the sport in India. Beyond immediate benefits like increased participation and enhanced training opportunities, this recognition signifies a broader endorsement of squash as a significant sporting discipline within the country,” Squash Racquets Federation of India (SRFI) secretary general Cyrus Poncha said in a SAI release.

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“Including squash in TOPS opens doors to international exposure and collaboration, fostering exchange programs and partnerships with leading squash nations. This is bound to enhance the overall standard of squash in India.” Anahat, 16, is already a national champion, with over 46 titles in the national circuit so far. On the international front, she has started making waves as the current Asian U-17 champion and winner of two PSA World Tour titles. She also has two Asian Games medals.

“I am really honoured SAI and SRFI considered me to be added to TOPS and I believe it will be a big support for me in improving my game and getting ready for international competition. I am sure when other Indian squash players hear about this, they will be encouraged to pick up squash professionally as they will know the government is supporting them if they perform well and represent India,” she said.

Among men, Abhay and Velavan were inducted in TOPS.

At 25, Abhay is the current National Games gold medallist and national championship silver medallist. He has won nine PSA World Tour titles and was part of the Indian men’s team that won the Asian Games gold in Hangzhou in 2023.

“I’ve been working hard to climb up the PSA rankings and have been funding all my expenses to travel abroad and train under some of the best coaches. I’m happy that TOPS will now take care of me, and I really hope we keep producing results on the world tour especially the 2026 Asian Games and the again the Olympics,” Abhay said.

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