Birmingham, August 3
Kidambi Srikanth came up with an underwhelming performance as India succumbed 1-3 to Malaysia and settled for silver in the mixed team badminton event at the Commonwealth Games on Tuesday night.
Srikanth lost to the lower-ranked Tze Yong Ng in three games to put the defending champions on the back foot in the final. PV Sindhu did what was expected of her in the women’s singles, while the men’s doubles pairing of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty went down in the opening doubles.
With the win, Malaysia regained the title they had lost to India four years ago in Gold Coast. For India to retain gold, a lot depended on the outcome of the men’s doubles tie, featuring Rankireddy and Shetty and the Olympics bronze medallists duo of Teng Fong Aaron Chia and Wooi Yik Soh. The women’s doubles and mixed doubles were India’s weak links and the team relied on the men’s doubles and the two singles players to get the job done.
The opening contest was full of long and winding rallies but Rankireddy and Shetty lost a majority of them, failing to keep pace with the ultra-attacking Malaysian pair.
After a tough battle, the Malaysians won 21-18 21-15 to put their team 1-0 up.
In the women’s singles, two-time Olympics medallist Sindhu was expected to roll over the 60th-ranked Goh Jin Wei but that wasn’t the case in the 22-20 21-17 win.
Sindhu led 11-6 in the first game but Wei looked a different player after the interval. She made the former world champion run around the court with her skilful net play. Sindhu ended a rally with a forehand smash on Wei’s left to make it 21-20 before the Malaysian netted a return.
The Malaysian continued with similar tactics in the second game as well, trying to bring Sindhu close to the net. Sindhu opened an 11-7 lead but Wei closed the gap after the interval. A gruelling encounter came to an end when a fighting Wei lost the final point after falling on the floor.
World No. 14 Srikanth came up with a flat performance in the men’s singles. The 42-ranked Tze Yong Ng took the first game off Srikanth for the first time in three meetings to raise hopes of an upset. The Indian then ran away with the second game to level the scores.
In the decider, the Malaysian came out on top, registering a 21-19 6-21 21-16 win to hand Malaysia a 2-1 advantage. It was also his first win over former world No. 1 Srikanth.
The world No. 11 duo of Thinaah Muralitharan and Pearly Tan then beat Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly in the women’s doubles.
Indians in action
LIVE ON SONY TEN, SONY SIX
Women’s hammer throw qualifying: Manju Bala, Sarita Singh 2:30pm Women’s 200m Rd 1: Hima Das 3pm Men’s long jump final: M Sreeshankar, Muhammed Anees Yahiya 12:10am (fri)
Men’s 48kg-51kg quarterfinals: Amit Panghal vs Lennon Mulligan (Scotland) 4:30pm
Women’s 57kg-60kg quarterfinals: Jaismine vs Troy Garton (New Zealand) 6pm
Men’s +92kg quarterfinals: Sagar vs Keddy Evans Agnes (Seychelles) 10pm
Men’s 63.5kg-67kg quarterfinals: Rohit Tokas vs Xavier Mata’afa-Ikinofo (Niue) 12:30am (fri)
Men’s Pool B: India vs Wales 6:30pm
Women’s doubles Rd of 32 4:30pm Men’s doubles Rd of 32 5pm Mixed doubles Rd of 16 7pm
Table Tennis and Para Table Tennis
Women’s singles Classes 6-10 Group 1: Baby Sahana Ravi
Women’s singles Classes 3-5:
Sonalben Patel, Bhavina Patel 3:45pm Men’s singles Classes 3-5: Raj Aravindan Alagar 5:30pm
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