CWG 2018: Saina Nehwal Beats PV Sindhu to Clinch Gold on Final Day
Saina Nehwal came out on top in a blockbuster match for the gold-medal clash against top-seeded and compatriot PV Sindhu on the final day of the Commonwealth Games 2018.
The Olympic bronze medalist Sania showed her experience against her younger opponent – to clinch gold in the all-Indian final of the women’s singles competition.
Saina won the first game comfortably but was made to toil hard in the following one.
The 28-year came Saina came out all guns blazing and raced away to a handy 11-6 lead into the mid-break of the first game.
However, Sindhu soon regained her composure and managed to reduce Saina’s lead but the latter went on to win 21-18.
In the second set, Sindhu pushed Saina on the backfoot with some lethal smashes. She went into the mid-break with an 11-8 lead. However, Saina fought back valiantly to win the thrilling set 22-21.
This was Saina’s second gold in the Commonwealth Games. She had previously achieved the feat in 2010 Delhi games.
On the other hand, Kidambi Srikanth and the debutant men’s doubles pair of Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty settled for silver medals respectively.
India finished the tournament at a third position in the medal’s tally. India won 66 medals in all – 26 gold, 20 silver, and 20 bronze.
Coming to the much-anticipated Saina-Sindhu contest, the former won the tie 21-18 23-21.
The triumph marked a remarkable end to her campaign in this edition. Saina was the pillar of India’s gold-winning campaign in the team championship earlier, playing every one of the singles matches due to Sindhu’s ankle injury.
With this gold, Saina Nehwal became the first Indian badminton player to win two Commonwealth Games gold medals.
India, however, had to deal with disappointment in men’s singles. World No. 1 Srikanth failed to capitalise on a strong start to lose 19-21 21-14 21-14 to Malaysian icon Lee Chong Wei.
It was Wei’s third gold Commonwealth Games gold medal. In the men’s doubles, Satwik and Chirag went down to Rio Olympics bronze medallist Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge of England 21-13 21-16.
Meanwhile, India ended the campaign with their best medal tally in badminton, clinching two gold, three silver, and a bronze.
Indian badminton contingent had won four medals in the last two editions at Glasgow and Delhi respectively.
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