Gold Coast, April 9: The legendary but on the wane Lee Chong Wei was one of the casualties as a rampaging Indian mixed badminton team claimed its maiden Commonwealth Games gold medal, thrashing three-time defending champions Malaysia in the final at Gold Coast on Monday (April 9).
The pair of Satwik Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa claimed the mixed doubles match against Peng Soon Chan and Liu Yong Goh 21-14, 15-21, 21-15, before Kidambi Srikanth stunned three-time Olympic silver medallist Lee 21-17, 21-14 in straight games.
The Games debutant men's doubles pair of Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty lost to Goh and Wee Kiong Tan 15-21, 20-22 to keep Malaysia afloat for a while.
But the in-form Saina Nehwal put paid to the Malaysian hopes with a 21-11, 19-21, 21-9 win over Soniia Cheah in the women's singles match.
The Indian, who has played every one of the women's singles matches in the event, did look a bit jaded but still had enough in her arsenal to thwart a fighting Cheah.
No words can explain this feeling! Kudos to our Champions @NSaina @P9Ashwini @satwiksairaj @srikidambi @Shettychirag04 @PRANNOYHSPRI @sikkireddy @RuthvikaS @pranaav6 #IndiaontheRise #ShareTheDream #GC2018badminton #CWG2018India pic.twitter.com/4TSGIP9xuD— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) April 9, 2018
Her victory ensured that the women's doubles pair of N Sikki Reddy and Ashwini did not have to show up for their clash against Vivian Hoo and Mei Kuan Chow.
Team India entered the final at Gold Coast having beaten Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Scotland, Mauritius and Singapore.
GOLD!!!!!!!! SAINA SEALS THE DEAL!!!!!!— The Bridge (@TheBridge_IN) April 9, 2018
INDIA WIN FIRST EVER TEAM BADMINTON GOLD AT THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES!!!!
INDIA DEFEATS MALAYSIA 3-1!#GC2018badminton #GC2018 #ShareTheDream #KhelegaIndiaCWG2018 #CommonwealthGames2018 #RangDeTiranga pic.twitter.com/phb4SdUJeP
Saina had won an individual gold in the 2010 CWG in New Delhi and mixed team silver and bronze in 2010 and 2006 respectively, while Ponnappa was part of the women's doubles pair that won gold in 2010 and silver in Glasgow, apart from a mixed team silver in 2010.
This is the country's first mixed team badminton gold at any edition of the CWG, and it has come under the expert tutelage of Dronacharya Pullela Gopichand