CWG: Saina beats Sindhu to gold; Srikanth takes silver

Saina Nehwal

With it, Sindhu bagged the prized Gold as India's medal tally now reads 62 (26 Gold, 17 Silver, and 19 Bronze).

In the second game, Sindhu started aggressively and it paid off as she was leading the set with three points at 11-8. Keep Sindhu on the defensive, bottle up her powerful smash, and force her to push the shuttle out at the baseline, thanks to the diabolical drift. 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.

Nehwal, the London Olympic bronze medallist, had heavy strapping on her right shin and revealed afterwards she had been playing through pain throughout the competition. Saina had also remained unbeaten throughout in the tournament. The two contrasting styles of the two shuttlers made for an exhilarating contest.

This was Joshna's first and Dipika's second medal at Gold Coast after taking silver in the mixed doubles with Saurav Ghosal. They had won four medals in the last two editions at Glasgow and Delhi. It had everything in it: precision, agility, remarkable court coverage and most importantly abundance of stamina. It was a flawless end to what was an imperfect start when her accreditated father did not gain access to the Games village.

Sindhu found her bearings after Saina had taken a 20-14 lead and closed it 18-20 but Saina brought her own brute force to fore with a smash targeting Sindhu's body which was simply unreturnable. It took 68 minutes for the match to finally finish 21-14 18-21 21-17 in Saina's favour. With experience, he will certainly learn how to capitalize and take the match away from the opponents by converting good starts to wins. Sindhu managed to hold on to the lead for a long time.

What is even more interesting than a cricket match for Indians? Saina continued her domination in the second half but Kirsty came back strongly to square things at 15-15. Nor did she panic when Sindhu went to game-point 20-19, although she realised that she would have serious trouble if the match stretched to a decider.

Just for a moment during the 2nd game, it seemed that Saina's stamina was giving in towards the final few points and that the match would have to be settled in the 3rd game.

Saina Nehwal returns to Canada's Rachel Honderich. "I have never played two weeks back to back so definitely it is one of my most exhausting campaigns".

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