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CWG 2018: Rankireddy-Ponnappa, Srikanth & Saina win Gold in Mixed Team Event

Kidambi Srikanth (Image- Facebook)

Coach Pullela Gopichand would be a happy man today as India won a historic Gold in Badminton mixed team event today at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. India defeated Malaysia 3-1 to clinch the brightest medal at offer with tremendous performance from Mixed Doubles team of Satwik Rankireddy & Ashwini Ponnappa, followed by a dominating performance from Kidambi Srikanth against Lee Chong Wei before India lost their Men’s Doubles match to allow Saina show her mettle.

India’s Day five had already started well with Jitu Rai & Omprakash Mitharwal winning the top two medals in 10m Air Pistol followed by weightlifter Pardeep Singh who won Silver, and Mehuli Ghosh & Apurvi Chandela who won Silver and Bronze respectively in 10M Air Rifle event.

Taking the momentum forward India won the Men’s Team Gold in Table Tennis and all eyes were fixated on the Indian Mixed Team Badminton event, and how the team performs there. The Team rejuvenated the nation with a historic moment as India won their first ever Commonwealth Games Badminton Mixed team Gold medal today. India defeated Malaysia 3-1 amidst strong shuttle play from Ashwini Ponnappa, Satwik Rankireddy, Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal.

Starting the match day with Mixed Doubles event, Indian pair of Satwik Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa beat Malaysian pair of Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh 21-14, 15-21, 21-15. Match number two had World No. 2 Kidambi Srikanth pitted against three-time Olympic silver medalist Lee Chong Wei which the Indian won 21-17, 21-14 . This is the first time Srikanth has won against the Champion Shuttler in five clashes, and it was so dominating that Srikanth was 5-6 points ahead most of the times during the two set match, leaving the Malaysian to comeback before Srikanth went for the final kill. It would be one of the rare encounters where Chong’s judgements visavis instant reviews were also poor.

With score reading 2-0, Indian Men’s Doubles pair of Rankireddy & Chirag Shetty took court to finish the match but they were defeated 15-21, 20-22 by Malaysian pair of V Shem Goh & Wee Kiong Tan.

Up came the match and in came the champion Shuttler on the badminton court who’s kept the Indian Badminton alive for years. The London Olympics Bronze medalist ended the match and won the Brightest medal for India, though she didn’t look her true self in the second set which she lost 19-21. Finally she beat Malaysian Shuttler Soniia Cheah 21-11, 19-21, 21-9 to take India to their 10th Gold Medal and 19th Medal overall. India is still at number three with 2 gold medals’ advantage over number fourth Canada.

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