CWG 2018, Final day: Saina Nehwal defeats PV Sindhu to claim gold

 

On Sunday, India have at least one assured gold medal in badminton with PV Sindhu facing Saina Nehwal in the finals of women’s singles. Both stars have reached the finals in rather contrasting fashions. Saina was pushed to the brink by 2014 silver medalist Kristy Gilmour in their semi-final match. It took 68 minutes for the match to finally finish 21-14 18-21 21-17 in Saina’s favour. Sindhu, on the other hand, made light work of defending CWG champion Michelle Li, winning the match in 28 minutes. Their match will be followed by Kidambi Srikanth taking on Malaysian great Lee Chong Wei in the men’s singles final.

Gold for Saina and silver for Sindhu gave India its fourth and fifth badminton medals and took to 62 the overall tally at the Gold Coast Games. With this win Saina, ranked 12th in the world, took her overall head-to-head record against Sindhu to 4-1. The last time these two shuttlers met in the final of an event was at last year’s National Badminton Championships where Saina won 21-17, 27-25 to clinch her third title.

In a nutshell, Sunday’s gold medal match was about Saina’s relentless attacking approach. Sindhu looked hampered and was unable to find her range, which the vastly experienced Saina exploits ruthlessly. An aggressive Saina dictated the rallies in the early exchanges of game one, moving up 9-4 and then 11-6 with Sindhu struggling to respond. Sindhu rallied back to make it 14-18 as some of her trademark smashes began to materialise, but Saina was too good.

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