CWG 2022: Treble for India as Sindhu, Sen, Rankiredddy & Shetty triumph

P V Sindhu
P V Sindhu proudly displays her gold medal. Photo: AFP/Ben Stansall

Birmingham: Superstar P V Sindhu, young gun Lakshya Sen and the doubles pair of Satwik Sairaj Rankiredddy and Chirag Shetty lived up to expectations as India made it a hat-trick of gold medals in the badminton competition at the Commonwealth Games (CWG), here on Monday.

India's sporting icon Sindhu added a CWG gold to her already bulging collection with a convincing straight game win over Canada's Michelle Li.

The world No. 7 outplayed her 13th-ranked opponent 21-15, 21-13 in front of a packed crowd at the NEC arena.

Later in the day, 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 No. 42 from Malaysia 19-21, 21-9, 21-16.

Rankiredddy and Shetty beat Ben Lane and Sean Vendy 21-15, 21-13 in the men's doubles final.

Chirag Shetty and Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy
Chirag Shetty and Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy celebrate their win. Photo: AFP: Ben Stansall

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

The silver came in team championship and the bronze medals were won by Kidambi Srikanth in the men's singles and Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand in the women's doubles. 

Early trouble

Sen trailed for majority of the first game in the men's singles final but stayed close to the Malaysian who had accounted for world champion Yew Kean Loh and Kidambi Srikanth in his previous two matches.

Lakshya Sen
Lakshya Sen makes an acrobatic return in the final. Photo: AFP/Ben Stansall

Sen made it 19-18 from 16-19 before Yong produced back-to-back forehand winners to gain a game point. Sen misjudged a baseline call after a gruelling rally to hand the advantage to Yong.

The second game was one way traffic after Sen led 11-9 at the interval. The Indian took 12 points in a row to level the final. Yong made a slew of unforced errors and it seemed he wanted to preserve energy for the third game.

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 in 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.

Earlier, the 30-year-old Michelle had to produce something special for her first win against Sindhu in eight years but the Indian did not give her a window. Sindhu was clinical in her short game and pounced on the slightest of attacking opportunities.

P V Sindhu
P V Sindhu celebrates her win over Michelle Li in the final. Photo: AFP/Ben Stansall

Michelle had beaten the 2019 world champion way back in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.

In the first game, Michelle was trying to get points by playing close to the net while Sindhu sas the more attacking one.

A smash on Li's left made it 7-5 before the Canadian came with a drop shot on Sindhu's right to make it 7-6.

Sindhu took three straight points after the interval to stretch her lead to 14-8. Michelle then netted a regulation forehand drop, leaving her smiling in frustration.

Michelle did come up with two consecutive backhand winners for 14-17 but Sindhu bagged the first game with a swat shot on the Candian's body.

The Hyderabadi took a 4-2 lead in the second with a brilliant retrieve off her body and was cruising 11-6 at the interval.

The crowd sensed a comeback from Michelle who won the longest rally of the match with a forehand winner. Sindhu, however, shut the door on her and completed a fine win with a cross court winner.

"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.

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