Malaysia emerged Commonwealth Games champions in the Mixed Team event for the third time in a row yesterday.
The defending champions (below) recovered from a match down to outplay England 3-1 for the 2014 Commonwealth Games crown at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow. Singapore made history by winning their first Mixed Team medal after surviving a tense encounter against India (3-2) in the bronze medal play-off.
The reliable Mixed Doubles pair Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock ensured the lead for England in the opening encounter. The Adcocks overcame a feisty challenge from Chan Peng Soon/Lai Pei Jing in the second game to hand England the momentum, 21-14 28-26.
However, the depth of the Malaysian squad helped it recover. Chong Wei Feng once again made up for team icon Lee Chong Wei’s absence in Men’s Singles. The left-hander kept his nerve in a tense contest with Rajiv Ouseph to help Malaysia draw level with a 21-17 19-21 21-19 win.
Tan Wee Kiong and Goh V Shem have played with other partners in recent times, but their pairing proved critical to Malaysia’s fortunes. As they did in previous matches, Tan and Goh once again remained firm under pressure, outclassing No.13 pair Chris Adcock and Andrew Ellis. The 21-19 21-17 result set the stage for the Women’s Singles encounter between Malaysia’s Tee Jing Yi (featured image) and Sarah Walker.
Tee, ranked 33 to Walker’s 75, asserted her dominance from the outset and never allowed the England player a sniff of an upset. Malaysia retained the title with Tee’s 21-16 21-17 verdict over Walker. This was England’s (below) second Mixed Team silver medal.
The bronze medal play-off earlier in the day was a roller-coaster which finally went Singapore’s way. India opted to field regular singles player Guru Sai Dutt in Mixed Doubles with Ashwini Ponnappa and the move backfired. Danny Bawa Chrisnanta and Vanessa Neo’s greater experience in close situations helped them nose ahead, 21-19 21-19.
Kashyap Parupalli brought India back level by seeing off Chao Huang 21-15 22-20 in Men’s Singles. However, Singapore held the edge in the paired events. Danny Bawa Chrisnanta once again stepped up to the task in Men’s Doubles with Chayut Triyachart. The in-form pair had little trouble in overcoming Pranaav Chopra/Akshay Dewalkar 21-12 21-16.
PV Sindhu was tested by Liang Xiaoyu in Women’s Singles, with the Indian prevailing 24-22 21-13, to set the tie up for a dramatic last match.
It was India’s Jwala Gutta/Ashwini Ponnappa against Yao Lei/Shinta Mulia Sari. Four years ago the Indians had overcome the Singapore pair for the Commonwealth Games gold medal in the individual competition. This time however it was Singapore’s (below) turn to enjoy success; Yao Lei and Sari surviving a nerve-wracking second game to prevail 21-17 29-27.