India earned a shot at their first-ever Mixed Team title at the Commonwealth Games when they weathered Singapore’s challenge 3-1 in the semi-finals yesterday in Gold Coast.
India take on defending champions Malaysia, who cruised past England 3-0.
India’s Mixed Doubles duo Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa put them ahead after a closely-fought opening game against Terry Hee and Crystal Wong. The Indians eked out a 22-20 21-18 result, handing the baton to Kidambi Srikanth in Men’s Singles. Kidambi had too many weapons for Loh Kean Yew, shutting out his challenger 21-17 21-14 in 37 minutes.
Singapore fought back through Terry Hee and Danny Bawa Chrisnanta in Men’s Doubles. The Singapore duo shrugged off an opening game loss to Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, getting stronger as the match progressed to record a 17-21 21-19 21-12 result.
However, India could rely on the vast experience of Saina Nehwal against Yeo Jia Min in Women’s Singles. Nehwal was dominant from start to finish as she completed India’s semi-final victory, 21-8 21-15.
The Malaysia-England semi-final went Malaysia’s way from the very beginning. Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong needed 32 minutes to outgun Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge 21-9 21-11.
Chloe Birch had upset the higher-ranked Michelle Li of Canada in the quarter-finals and she carried England’s hopes of levelling the deficit in the final.
Birch gave it everything, dragging the match past an hour, but Soniia Cheah (featured image) kept her composure in a close third game to win Malaysia’s second point, 21-17 15-21 21-18.
It was up to Rajiv Ouseph to salvage the tie for England. However, Lee Chong Wei was in no mood to concede an inch, and the match was over in 47 minutes with Lee triumphant at 21-18 21-16.