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India finish in top four as shuttlers, paddlers add to medal haul

Source: PTI
Last updated on: August 09, 2022 05:53 IST
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India's final tally at the Commonwealth Games read 22 gold, 16 silver and 23 bronze. They placed behind third-placed Canada, which was far ahead with 92 medals (26-32-34).

Australia (67-57-54) finished on top, ahead of hosts England (57-66-53).

Lakshya Sen Malaysia's Ng Tze Yong to win the men's singles gold on Monday

IMAGE: Lakshya Sen celebrates victory over Malaysia's Ng Tze Yong in the men's singles badminton final at the Commonwealth Games on Monday. Photograph: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Led by the iconic Pusarla V Sindhu, India's shuttlers took charge of the badminton arena by winning all three titles on offer on the concluding day of the Commonwealth Games, even as paddler Sharath Kamal yet again reminded everyone of his class and awe-inspiring longevity with a coruscating show, as the country wrapped up its campaign with 61 medals to finish a creditable fourth.

 

It was expected that Sindhu, Lakshya Sen and the formidable pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy would finish atop of the podium, but what provided the icing on the cake was the 40-year-old Kamal's gold medal-winning show against England's Liam Pitchford in the men's singles table tennis final.

That performance took India's gold medal count to 22, four less than the 2018 edition, but this time the sport of shooting was missing from the roster.

The shooters had contributed to seven gold in the Gold Coast's 66-medal haul. Considering that, India certainly put up a good show.

However, with the 0-7 hammering of the men's hockey team by Australia, when at least a spirited fight was anticipated, India's campaign at the Games ended on a disappointing note.

The manner in which India caved in took away the joy of the silver medal it won.

India's final tally read 22 gold, 16 silver and 23 bronze; they placed behind third-placed Canada, which was far ahead with 92 medals (26-32-34). Australia (67-57-54) finished on top, ahead of hosts England (57-66-53).

Gold Medallist, India's Achanta Sharath Kamal celebrates during the Table Tennis Men's Singles Medal Ceremony on day eleven of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at NEC Arena in Birmingham, England, on Monday

IMAGE: Achanta Sharath Kamal celebrates with his gold medal during the men's singles table tennis medal ceremony on Day 11 of the Commonwealth Games, at NEC Arena in Birmingham, on Monday. Photograph: Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

Coming back to TT, Sharath and G Sathian had lost to England's Pitchford and Paul Drinkhall in the men's doubles gold medal match, but on Monday they had their revenge.

This was after Sathiyan beat Drinkhall 11-9, 11-3, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11, 10-12, 11-9 in an exciting but nerve-jangling bronze play-off.

Sharath outsmarted the 29-year-old nimble-footed Briton 11-13, 11-7, 11-2, 11-6, 11-8 to claim his second CWG singles gold after 16 years. He won the singles title in the 2006 Melbourne Games.

The superstar paddler will return from Birmingham with a rich haul of four medals, having won the men's team and the mixed team gold, apart from his silver in the men's doubles.

With Monday's sensational gold, Sharath took his overall medal tally to 13 at the CWG, since making his Games debut in 2006.

The concluding day of the Games began with superstar Sindhu adding a CWG gold to her already bulging collection with a convincing straight games win over Canada's Michelle Li.

The world number seven outplayed her 13th ranked opponent, winning 21-15 , 21-13 in front of a packed crowd at the NEC arena.

"I had been waiting for this gold for a long time and finally I have got it. I am super happy. Thanks to the crowd, they made me win today," said Sindhu after the final.

Later, 10th-ranked Sen came from behind to end Ng Tze Yong's giant-killing run in the competition.

The 20-year-old defeated the world number 42 from Malaysia 19-21, 21-9, 21-16.

Sen was at his attacking best in the decider and led until the end. Yong tried his best to mount a comeback, but Sen was unstoppable. He converted his first match-point following a long rally, leading to a frenzied celebration that saw him throw his racket into the stands.

"It was tense at the start. I had to work really hard. Yong also played a great tournament. Congratulations to him as well," said Sen after a hard-fought contest.

The Indian men's hocke y team with their CWG silver medal on Monday.

IMAGE: The Indian men's hockey team with their CWG silver medals. Photograph: Hockey India/Twitter

India's star doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy won the country's third gold from the badminton court with a 21-15, 21-13 victory over England's Ben Lane and Sean Mendy.

India thus finished a fantastic badminton campaign with three gold, one silver and two bronze.

While the shuttlers and paddlers dazzled, Australia blew away India with their whirlwind speed and relentless attacks in hockey, extending its dominance at the Games.

Since hockey's introduction at the Games in 1998, Australia has always stood on top of the podium.

This is India's third defeat to Australia in a CWG final, having lost to them in the 2010 and the 2014 editions of the Games.

Nathan Ephraums and Tom Wickham scored a brace each while Blake Govers, Jacob Anderson, and Flynn Ogilvie also found the net in the lop-sided contest.

It was a far cry from what was expected in a gold medal clash as a dominant Australia pumped in five goals in the first half to take the game away from India. 

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