India badminton team poses with silver medal
India badminton team poses with silver medal

India settles for silver with loss to Malaysia in badminton

Srikanth lost to the lower-ranked Tze Yong Ng in three games to put the defending champion on the back foot in the final.

BIRMINGHAM: 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.

Srikanth lost to the lower-ranked Tze Yong Ng in three games to put the defending champion on the back foot in the final. PV Sindhu did what was expected of her in the women’s singles match 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 it 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 Olympic bronze medallists duo of Teng Fong Aaron Chia and Wooi Yik Soh.

The women’s doubles and mixed doubles were India’s weaker links and the team relied on men’s doubles and the two singles to get the job done.

In women’s singles, Sindhu was expected to win comfortably, but the 60th ranked Goh Jin Wei made life very tough for the World No. 7.

Sindhu led 11-6 in the first game but Goh looked a different player after the interval. She made the former world champion run around the court with her skillful net play. Goh made a strong comeback to take the game till the very end.

Sindhu ended a rally with a forehand smash on Goh’s left to make it 21-20 before the Malaysian netted a return.

It was a gruelling affair and Goh gave her all on court, including the last point when she fell on the floor. The final scoreline read 22-20, 21-17 in Sindhu’s favour.

World No. 14 Srikanth came up with a flat performance in 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 match.

In the decider, Tze led 11-9 at the interval after couple of unforced errors from the Indian. It became 16-12 with Srikanth unable to match Tze’s net play.

The Malaysian got his first match point after a long rally that saw Srikanth misjudging a line call at the baseline.

Srikanth sent a smash wide in the following point to hand Malaysia a 2-1 advantage. It was also Tze’s first win over Srikanth with the final result reading 21-19, 6-21, 21-16.

The World No.11 duo of Thinaah Muralitharan and Koong Le Pearly Tan was too good for the lower-ranked Gayatri Gopichand and Treesa Jolly in the women’s doubles, winning by a 21-18, 21-17 scoreline to complete the task.

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