IN­DIA END THIRD BEST CWG Show WITH SIX Medals on fi­nal day

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The star badminton trio of Saina Ne­hwal, P.V. Sindhu and Ki­dambi Srikanth were the cen­tre of at­trac­tion as the In­dian con­tin­gent ended their cam­paign at the 21st Com­mon­wealth Games (CWG) on a high here on Sun­day.

In­dia bagged a to­tal of six medals on the fi­nal day. In­dia fin­ished the Games with 26 golds, 20 sil­vers and 20 bronze medals. This year’s to­tal of 66 medals is the third high­est haul for In­dia in the his­tory of the CWG.

Their best per­for­mance till date came at home dur­ing the 2010 Delhi Games, which pro­duced a tally of 101 medals. That in­cluded 38 gold, 27 sil­ver and 36 bronze.

The sec­ond high­est medals tally of 69 came at the 2002 Games in Manch­ester, Eng­land. The In­dian con­tin­gent won 30 gold at that edi­tion along with 22 sil­ver and 17 bronze.

Saina and Sindhu were in­volved in an in­tense, high tempo women’s sin­gles fi­nal. Saina dis­played su­perb form to clinch a 21-18, 23-21 vic­tory for the sec­ond CWG sin­gles ti­tle of her ca­reer. Her first CWG sin­gles gold came at the 2010 Games in New Delhi.

For Sindhu, this was the sec­ond CWG sin­gles medal of her ca­reer, the first be­ing bronze at Glas­gow 2014.

Srikanth was in­volved in an equally en­ter­tain­ing men’s sin­gles fi­nal against Malaysian leg­end Lee Chong Wei. Although Srikanth dom­i­nated the open­ing game, Lee showed his real class later in the con­test to reg­is­ter a 19-21, 21-14, 21-14 vic­tory for the fifth CWG ti­tle of a glit­ter­ing ca­reer.

The last two games were en­tirely one-sided as the vet­eran Malaysian star handed out a mas­ter­class in place­ment and de­cep­tion. Srikanth was vir­tu­ally re­duced to a spec­ta­tor as Lee piled on the points.

The men’s dou­bles team of Satwik Rankireddy and Chi­rag Shetty also set­tled for the sil­ver medal af­ter go­ing down 13-21, 16-21 to Eng­land’s Mar­cus El­lis and Chris Lan­gridge.

In squash, de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons Dipika Pal­likal and Joshna Chi­nappa set­tled for the sil­ver medal in women’s dou­bles af­ter los­ing 9-11, 8-11 to New Zealand’s Joelle King and Amanda Lan­ders-mur­phy.

This was Joshna’s first and Dipika’s sec­ond medal at Gold Coast af­ter tak­ing sil­ver in the mixed dou­bles with Sau­rav Ghosal.

Vet­eran ta­ble ten­nis star Achanta Sharath Ka­mal bagged the men’s sin­gles bronze medal by beat­ing Eng­land’s Sa­muel Walker 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10.

Mean­while, Manika Ba­tra grabbed her fourth medal at this year’s CWG. She bagged bronze in the mixed dou­bles ta­ble ten­nis com­pe­ti­tion in the com­pany of Sathiyan Gnanasekaran.

Manika and Sathiyan de­feated com­pa­tri­ots Sharath Ka­mal and Mouma Das 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 in the play-off for the third po­si­tion at the Ox­en­ford Stu­dios here.

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