Star shuttlers Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal on Monday helped India clinch their maiden gold medal in mixed team badminton event after defeating Malaysia 3-1 in the ongoing Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. This was India’s 10th gold and 19th medal overall in the 21st CWG.
In the first out of the five matches, the mixed doubles duo of Satwik Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa gave India the lead by beating the Malaysian pair of Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh 21-14, 15-21, 21-15 in a thrilling contest.
Then it was star shuttler and current world no.2 Kidambi Srikanth, who doubled India’s lead by defeating world no.6 and four-time Commonwealth Games gold medallist Lee Chong Wei 21-17, 21-14 in the men’s singles match.
However, Malaysia made a comeback by taking the men’s doubles match as the Indian pair of Rankireddy and Chirag Chandrashekhar Shetty lost 15-21, 20-22 against V Shem Goh and Wee Kiong Tan.
In the fourth match, India’s seasoned campaigner and in-form Saina Nehwal put paid to the Malaysian hopes with a 21-11 19-21 21-9 win over Soniia Cheah in the women’s singles match. The Indian, who has played every one of the women’s singles matches in the event, did look a bit jaded but still had enough in her arsenal to thwart a fighting Cheah.
Her victory ensured that the women’s doubles pair of N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini did not have to show up for their clash against Vivian Hoo and Mei Kuan Chow.
India have so far 19 medals in their kitty including 10 Golds, 4 Silver and 5 Bronze.