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Badminton

Commonwealth Games 2018: Indian shuttlers win historic Gold

Commonwealth Games 2018: Indian shuttlers win historic Gold
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By

Sounak Mullick

Published: 10 April 2018 2:02 AM GMT
Indian shuttlers edged past heavyweights Malaysia to secure the Gold medal in the mixed team event at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. KIdambi Srikanth, Saina Nehwal and Co. defeated Malaysia 3-1 in a mouth-watering clash to guide India to it 10th top place finish in the ongoing Games. The match reminded everyone of a similar fixture during the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, where India lost by the same margin to Malaysia in the Gold medal match. Revenge is sweet after all! During the 2010 Games, Lee Ching Wei won the Men's singles outplaying India's Parupalli Kashyap 21-18 and 21-8. Saina Nehwal was the only Indian winner in New Delhi winning the Women's singles against Wong Mew Choo. In the other two matches, the Men's doubles and Mixed doubles, India lost and settled for a Silver. But the story was different this time! Clearly, it was a testament to how far Indian badminton has come over the past 8 years. From bowing down to domination even in competitions like the Commonwealth Games, today was a case of pure strategic bliss. Ashwini Ponappa and S. Rankireddy started off the proceedings for India in the Mixed doubles match. After winning the first game comfortably with scores of 21-14, the Indian duo stumbled in the second and was outclassed by Singapore's Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh 21-15. In the third game, Singapore was leading by a fair margin, but Rankireddy and Ponappa came back brilliantly to win the game 21-15 and help India take a 1-0 lead. Their composure was clearly visible as they fought against the odds to get the momentum beginning for the Indian team, something which was clearly capitalised on by the subsequent matches. [embed]https://twitter.com/TheBridge_IN/status/983307450588672000[/embed] In the Men's singles, Kidambi Srikanth was up against former World No.1 Lee Chong Wei. In a cracker of a first game, the Indian showed great resilience to win it 21-17. The second was even better, as Srikanth always had a grip on the game and eventually won it 21-14, with India leading 2-0! It proved to be a battle of nerves as Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty needed a win in the Men's doubles to secure the Gold medal for India but went off to a faulty start losing the first game 21-15 losing to Malaysia's Shem Goh and Kiong Tan. The Indian duo played better in the second game but lost the game 20-22 and taking the overall scores to 2-1 in favour of India. And when Saina Nehwal stepped on court, the very beginning of her match proved the intent of the Indian team. Back in 2010, Nehwal was the only player in the Mixed Team to have won her fixture against a dominant Malaysian side which, incidentally, also included Lee Chong Wei back then. All in all, India's first Gold in the Mixed Team at the Commonwealth Games was made even more special for the simple reason that it came against Malaysia. Quite a bit of history in the Games so far for India and we hope there are plenty more such instances to come.
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