Saina Nehwal beats PV Sindhu to claim badminton gold, Srikanth settles for silver


India’s Saina Nehwal (C gold), India’s Venkata Pusarla (L silver) and Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour (bronze) pose with their medals. (Photo: AFP)

Gold Coast (Australia) April 15: Saina Nehwal has claimed her second individual Commonwealth Games gold medal by defeating World No 3 PV Sindhu 21-18, 23-21 in a riveting women’s singles final on Sunday at Gold Coast, Australia.
Gold for Saina and silver for Sindhu gave India its fourth and fifth badminton medals and took to 62 the overall tally at the Gold Coast Games.
With this win Saina, ranked 12th in the world, took her overall head-to-head record against Sindhu to 4-1. The last time these two shuttlers met in the final of an event was at last year’s National Badminton Championships where Saina won 21-17, 27-25 to clinch her third title.
In a nutshell, Sunday’s gold medal match was about Saina’s relentless attacking approach. Sindhu looked hampered and was unable to find her range, which the vastly experienced Saina exploits ruthlessly. An aggressive Saina dictated the rallies in the early exchanges of game one, moving up 9-4 and then 11-6 with Sindhu struggling to respond. Sindhu rallied back to make it 14-18 as some of her trademark smashes began to materialise, but Saina was too good.
However, newly-crowned World No.1 Kidambi Srikanth let slip the early advantage to settle for a silver medal going down to Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei in the men’s singles summit clash.
Srikanth had beaten Lee in the mixed team championships final earlier in the Games but the former world number one rallied for a 19-21 21-14 21-14 triumph today for his third individual CWG gold. He has two more mixed team gold medals to his credit. (Agencies)