Sri Lanka’s Sachin Dias and Buwaneka Goonethilleka stole the show on Friday, earning a shot at a medal in Men’s Doubles at the XXI Commonwealth Games.
The Sri Lankan duo (featured image) lost a close first game against Canada’s Jason Ho-Shue and Nyl Yakura but surged back into contention after a thrilling second game, and they ultimately booked their semi-final place with a 19-21 22-20 21-17 result.
In the last-four, the Sri Lankans face India’s Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, while in the other half, Malaysia’s Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong take on England’s Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge.
Hosts Australia also were in medal contention in Women’s Doubles as Gronya Somerville and Setyana Mapasa outplayed Malaysia’s Soniia Cheah/Shevon Jemie Lai 21-15 21-16. The Australians will match wits with England’s Lauren Smith/Sarah Walker, who outclassed Sri Lanka’s Thilini Pramodika Hendahewa/Kavidi Sirimannage in straight games.
In the other semi-final, India’s Ashwini Ponnappa/Sikki Reddy take on Malaysia’s Chow Mei Kuan/Vivian Hoo, who enjoyed a straight-games win over England’s Chloe Birch/Jessica Pugh.
It was a brilliant day overall for India, as they won all but one match. In the Men’s Singles, Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy booked their spots in opposite semi-finals. Kidambi enjoyed a comfortable 21-15 21-12 victory over Singapore’s Ryan Ng, while Prannoy was just as untroubled by Sri Lanka’s Dinuka Karunaratna, 21-13 21-6.
Kidambi will be challenged by England’s Rajiv Ouseph in the semi-finals, while Prannoy faces Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei, who cruised past Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew 21-13 21-16.
Women’s Singles also saw the top two Indians make the semi-finals – Saina Nehwal brushing aside the challenge of Canada’s Rachel Honderich, 21-8 21-13, and compatriot Pusarla V Sindhu making her way past another Canadian, Brittney Tam, 21-14 21-17.
Pusarla will expect a more difficult challenge in the semi-final as she faces defending champion Michelle Li (Canada), who stopped Malaysia’s Soniia Cheah in straight games. Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour also made the semi-finals, where she faces Nehwal.
India’s doubles challenge was powered by Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, who also made the Mixed Doubles semi-finals with Ashwini Ponnappa. The Indian duo thwarted Malaysia’s Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jemie Lai 21-19 21-19 and earned the last-four place against England’s Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith.
In the other half, Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying take on England’s Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock. Chan and Goh handed India their only defeat of the day, as they stormed past Pranaav Jerry Chopra/Sikki Reddy 21-17 21-12.