rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Sports » Chong Wei stuns Srikanth for men's singles gold

Chong Wei stuns Srikanth for men's singles gold

Last updated on: April 15, 2018 11:53 IST

Kidambi Srikanth

IMAGE: Silver medallist Kidambi Srikanth of India. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images.

Malaysia's Lee Chong Wei staged a magnificent recovery to beat world No 1 Kidambi Srikanth of India 19-21, 21-14, 21-14 and win the men's singles badminton final at the Commonwealth Games on Sunday.

 

In the process, the 35-year-old world No 7 denied India a second singles gold medal in badminton after Saina Nehwal's victory over Pusarla Sindhu in the women's singles final earlier.

Medals Table: CWG 2018

It was sweet revenge for Wei, who lost to Srikanth 17-21, 14-21 in the mixed team event final earlier. He held ascendancy early on as he raced to a 5-0 lead.

However, Srikanth fought back and reduced it to 4-5 before going into the break 11-9 up.

Kidambi Srikanth

IMAGE: India's Kidambi Srikanth in action. Photograph: Athit Perawongmetha/Reuters.

The scores ran neck and neck thereafter after the Malaysian drew abreast at 14.  The Indian made it 20-19 and sealed the game when Wei hit a return wide. 

If the first game was a thriller, the second had spectators on the edge of their seats.Lee Chong Wei

IMAGE: Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia competes during the men's singles final match against Kidambi Srikanth of India. Photograph: Michael Steele/Getty Images.

Both players hardly gave anything away, but it was Srikanth’s better judgment and accuracy that gave him the edge.

Ironically, he erred in his judgment at 10-9 and left a long toss which dropped in to allow the Malaysian to go into the break 11-9 up.

After the breather, Wei was at this aggressive best and returned everything Srikanth threw at him as he proceeded to take the game 21-14 in 21 minutes.

The third was a battle royal between the top two seeds. The No. 2 seeded Malaysian was even stronger and accurate. He repeatedly drew Srikanth to the net and smashed to take a commanding lead, which he held to go into the break 11-5 up.

Wei's experience began to tell as he toyed with the Indian, who committed unforced errors. 

15-8 ahead, the Malaysian continued to attack and won comfortably after 65 pulsating minutes.  

A decade older than the Indian, Lee kept his best for the last, showing off the legendary reflexes that have earned him cult status in international badminton, in the deciding third game.

"I started well but I made too many mistakes in my defence. I gave him that early lead which I should have avoided," Srikanth said.

"He played really well in the second and third set. The first set was quite close. In the third set I really should not have given him that lead. He just played much better," he added.