Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Sports | By Brooke Harris

Commonwealth Games: Saina Nehwal wins gold as India finish with 66 medals

Commonwealth Games: Saina Nehwal wins gold as India finish with 66 medals

Sindhu started with a slender 11-10 lead midway into her first game against the Canadian, before extending to 14-11 and then to 19-15.

Saina Nehwal made up for her disappointing Rio Olympics as she defeated fellow Indian and rival P.V. Sindhu to win her second Commonwealth Games badminton singles gold on Sunday.

The triumph marked a remarkable end to her CWG campaign this edition. Manika Batra and Sathiyan Gnanasekaran beat Achanta Sharath Kamal and Mouma Das in three games 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 in the Mixed doubles bronze medal match.

Sindhu led 11-8 at the changeover in the second game but it was Saina who was dictating the play and making Sindhu work hard and dig deep to win points. Saina, was also perhaps guilty of going for the lines to try and finish the rallies quickly when under pressure. The two contrasting styles of the two shuttlers made for an exhilarating contest. But Sindhu's poor accuracy let her down once again as she fired an attempted return into the net to give Saina the first game.

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Nehwal and Sindhu have played each other three times at worldwide tournaments.

Saina, who had clinched the gold in 2010 Delhi Games but missed the 2014 Games due to injuries, staved off a challenge from Scotland's Kristy Gilmour, a silver at Glasgow four years ago, 21-14 18-21 21-17 in 68 minutes. But to Sindhu's credit, she too exhibited a better command on her smashes and improved considerably court-coverage to take a 9-7 lead, which she widened to 13-8 after the break. However, Sindhu edged ahead for a 20-19 lead and a game point.

What time is the CWG 2018 badminton singles final between PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal?

Sindhu struggled with her placements during the opening game, her best shot being a well-placed one into the left corner of Saina's side of the court at 9-12.

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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 worldwide badminton. But Nehwal, known for her retrieving game, has never followed that strategy against her compatriot and prefers to go on an all-out attack mode.

Trailing in the head-to-head by 0-4, Srikanth had previously met Lee at the Sudirman Cup in 2015, where the Malaysian had defeated him in straight games.

"An extremely well-played match!"

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