Birmingham, Aug 3: India settled for silver as Malaysia regained their title, which they lost to India in Gold Coast four years ago, with a scintillating show to clinch a 3-1 win over the defending champions in the mixed team badminton event in Birmingham on Tuesday.
Star Indian shuttler PV Sindhu clinched India’s only win in the gold medal match as India lost both doubles match and singles match, including an underwhelming show from top shuttler Kidambi Srikanth, against Malaysia. The Indian shuttlers' silver-winning campaign took India’s tally to 13. India endured a good day, as the Indian contingent finished the day with two gold medals and two silver medals.
In the first tie of the gold medal match, - the doubles match saw Indian doubles pair Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy & Chirag Shetty take on Malaysia’s Teng Fong Aaron Chia & Wood Yik. After the Indian pair opened with a 2-0 lead, the Malaysian shuttlers bounced back to take the lead 4-2.
True to a final contest, the shuttlers went neck-to-neck, with Malaysian pair holding a slender 11-10 lead during the break in Game 1. After leading 18-15, the Malaysian pair put up a scintillating display to take the opening game with six straight points and win the game 21-18.
With India trailing 0-1 to Malaysia, star Indian shuttler PV Sindhu was up next. True to her billing Sindhu raced to a 7-1 lead over Malaysia’s Jin Wei Goh in the women’s singles fixtures. But Jin Wei fought tooth and nail and stayed alive.
After Sindhu completely dominated at the onset, a stellar comeback from Goh saw her grab the lead 19-18 for the first time in the game with seven straight points. But the two time Olympic champion fended off Goh’s challenge to win the first game 22-20 in 23 minutes.
In the second game, Sindhu started off strong, but the Malaysian shuttler showed true grit to keep Sindhu on her toes. At the break Sindhu led 11-7. Though Sindhu was made to work, the star Indian shuttler levelled the final 1-1, with a 22-20, 21-17 win over Jin Wei Go in 44 minutes.
With Sindhu levelling the final, up next for India was Kidambi Srikanth. The Indian shuttler was up against Malaysia’s Tze Yong NG. Malaysia’s Tze Yong NG won the opening game 21-19 in 22 mins over his favoured opponent.
Srikanth brought his experience to the fore as he raced to a 8-2 lead in the second, before winning the game 21-6. But it was the young Tze Yong who had the final say, as he pulled off a stunning win over the seasoned campaigner. Tze Young defeat Srikanth 21-19, 6-21, 21-16, in the men’s singles tie to hand Malaysia a 2-0 lead.
In the fourth game, Indian women’s pair Treesa Jolly and Gayatri Gopichand were up against Koong Le Pearly Tan and Muralitharan Thinaah. The Indian shuttlers fought tooth and nail but Malaysian pair took the opening game 21-18. It wasn’t India’s day, as the Malaysian shuttler were on top of their game, as they wrapped up the win 21-18, 21-17.
India finished the day with 13 medals - including five gold medals, five silver medals and three bronze medals. India is currently placed sixth on the medals table.