Saina, Srikanth highlight India's best-ever badminton haul at Commonwealth Games

Saina Nehwal celebrates her victory over fellow Indian and rival P.V. Sindhu to take gold in the Commonwealth Games badminton singles

In the colossal badminton women's singles final, Indian superstar Saina Nehwal overpowered another Indian badminton sensation PV Sindhu 21-18, 23-21 in a highly-contested match to clinch a gold medal at Commonwealth Games 2018 held in Gold Coast, Australia. By the end, it literally seemed Saina was toying with Sindhu in the buildup of the turn around in the second game.

In the event, Saina came through the searching examination with flying colours.

Sunday's win is important for Saina as she was replaced by Sindhu as India's "Badminton Queen" after the latter's performance at Rio Olympics 2016. She attacked relentlessly and kept the rallies short while dictating the pace of the match.

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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, in the deciding third game."I started well but I made too many mistakes in my defence". I needed rest. Roger Federer says he sleeps for 10-12 hours, I was not even sleeping for half-an-hour because my father was sitting outside. On hindsight, the initial 9-4 lead she grabbed, thanks to Sindhu's nervous over-hitting on the defensive clear, helped keep her a few points ahead all the way through. This year's total of 66 medals is the third highest haul for India in the history of CWG. Sindhu on the other hand, struggled to match her compatriot although she gave a stiff fight in the second game. Point by point, she overhauled her lanky rival, with one particularly demanding, draining 60-stroke rally taking her to within striking distance at 18-19. It is not much of a problem, just two-three days of recovery is required.

The result of the match, though, was inconsequential as people from all quarters of India took to social media to hail two of country's daughters for bringing home laurels. Thank you for reading the coverage on Commonwealth Games 2018. K Srikanth and the debutant men's doubles pair of Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty had to satisfy with Silver and that's not bad. While all the gold medal matches are slated for Sunday, India picked up their first medal when Ashwini Ponnappa and N Sikki Reddy beat locals Setyana Mapasa and Gronya Somerville 21-19, 21-19 for a bronze in women's doubles.

Like Saina, Srikanth needed a hit-and-run approach against Lee. Lee Chong Wei showed his experience while bulldozing his way to the gold medal.

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