The stage was set for engrossing singles finales with Malaysia’s Lee Chong Wei and India’s Kidambi Srikanth, Saina Nehwal and Pusarla V Sindhu booking their spots in Sunday’s finals at the XXI Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
England enjoyed rich pickings on Saturday, winning all their doubles matches to be assured of one gold and in contention for two more.
In semi-finals action yesterday, Lee Chong Wei overcame doughty resistance from another Indian, HS Prannoy, after losing the second game: 21-16 9-21 21-14.
He will take on Kidambi, who had relatively lesser trouble from England’s Rajiv Ouseph as he clinched the match in 31 minutes: 21-10 21-17. The final will be Kidambi’s first big test after he turned No.1 last week and will present Lee will a chance of revenge after losing to the Indian in last Sunday’s Mixed Team final.
Later in the day, Ouseph took home the bronze medal after fighting past Prannoy 17-21 25-23 21-9.
Saina Nehwal, champion in 2010, had her hands full in fending off Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour. The Scot took the second game and stayed in sight until the end, but Nehwal ultimately pulled away for a 21-14 18-21 21-17 victory. Her opponent in the final will be compatriot Pusarla, who powered her way past Canada’s Michelle Li 21-18 21-8.
Gilmour won the bronze medal playoff against Li, 21-11 21-16.
India earned a shot at a third gold medal with young Men’s Doubles duo Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty making short work of Sri Lanka’s Sachin Dias and Buwenaka Goonethilleka, 21-18 21-10. Their opponents in the final will be England’s Marcus Ellis/Chris Langridge (featured image), who held off Malaysia’s Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong 15-21 21-16 21-15.
Goh and Tan picked up the consolation bronze for Malaysia, beating Dias and Goonethilleka in straight games.
The only Malaysians in the finals, apart from Lee Chong Wei, are the Women’s Doubles pair of Chow Mei Kuan/Vivian Hoo, whose opponents, Ashwini Ponnappa/Sikki Reddy, crumbled when the match went into the third game: 17-21 21-15 21-4.
The Malaysians face England’s Lauren Smith/Sarah Walker, who stopped Australia’s Gronya Somerville/Setyana Mapasa in straight games. Ponnappa and Reddy took home the bronze later in the day beating Somerville/Mapasa 21-19 21-19.
England continued to make a sensation with Chris Adcock/Gabrielle Adcock and Marcus Ellis/Lauren Smith ensuring the gold for their team. The Adcocks thwarted Malaysia’s Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying’s ambitions, 21-19 21-17, while Ellis/Smith held their nerve in a close duel with India’s Rankireddy/Ponnappa, 20-22 21-18 21-16.
Chan/Goh outclassed Rankireddy/Ponnappa for the bronze.