C’WEALTH GAMES Bronze Team Final – Singaporean victory crowns Indian frustration

India was left to rue the choice to leave mixed doubles specialists at home, as again they came up short in the bronze medal final. The full five matches were […]

India was left to rue the choice to leave mixed doubles specialists at home, as again they came up short in the bronze medal final. The full five matches were required to take the overall, with a mammoth final game sealing the win for Sari / Yao and Singapore.

By Michael Burke, Badzine Correspondent, live from Glasgow.  Photos: Yohan Nonotte for Badmintonphoto (live).

A recurring theme in the tournament, India was light in the doubles departments as all three pairs lost in a tense final. A strong performance from Kashyap Parupalli, and a fighting recovery from P.V. Sindhu (pictured left) kept the game alive for India as the last match decided the result in front of a vocal crowd.

Chrisnanta and Neo (pictured right) started off the encounter with a solid, if unimpressive performance, as Gurusaidutt and Ponnappa pushed the Singaporeans hard.

“A pity we didn’t get the point yesterday, but everyone needs to focus on today’s matches.” Said Vanessa Neo after the match.

She continued, “It’s been a long time since Singapore won a team medal, so we’re happy we got our first point today. It was a tough match and we needed to fight for every point, we still need to fight for each point.”

Kashyap used his experience to overcome the much lower ranked, Huang Chao, who played well to push the individual MS event favourite hard. But Chrisnanta and Triyachart responded quickly, taking a more regulation victory to edge the Singaporeans back ahead.

P.V. Sindhu, who has not been at her most confident this week, saved several game points in her match as Liang Xiaoyu played her best game of the tournament.

Sindhu cruised through the second game, and spoke of the early lapse after, “It’s my first time playing against her, it took some time to sort her game out. I gave her a lead, and she played very well.”

The final match saw Sari / Yao (pictured left) defeat Gutta / Ponnappa (pictured right) in a marathon second game finishing 29-27.

The Singaporeans were obviously delighted after securing bronze for the team, but Sari spoke of a tough match, “The game was very tight, every point very difficult. We kept telling ourselves not to think too much, just to play each point, each shot on its own.”

The marathon final game saw a great fight from the Indians and Ponnappa spoke of it afterwards.

“It would have been better if we had pulled of the match, but we did our best. It was a great contest, both teams weren’t giving up and we’re proud to have been part of a contest like that, which we don’t get so much in badminton.”

There was a sense of frustration echoed throughout the Indian team however, that has been mentioned all week – the lack of a genuine mixed doubles pair, something which the players feel cost them a medal.

“It’s disappointing to lose, we’re lacking a mixed doubles pair which was always going to make it difficult. Only those that select the team can tell you why we didn’t bring anyone.” Said Gutta.

Ponnappa continued, “It’s a mixed team event, we need to bring players for all the disciplines if we want to win, we can’t expect scratch pairings with singles players to take points against pairs that played mixed all the time.”

Gutta suggested that this is due to an underlying attitude in India. “The focus at home is singles, even when the doubles pairs do well. It’s high time we focussed more on paired events. The mixed doubles were the first matches here, it was crucial to get a good start, which we never had.”

The promising individual performances of the Indians should stand them in good stead for the next part of the , but there are clearly issues to be addressed in Indian badminton wider than simply the disappointment of not repeating their silver medal performance from Delhi.

For the Singaporeans, the delight at the bronze medal will only serve to help them for the coming matches, and they can reflect on how close they were to making the gold medal final against top seeds Malaysia.

The full results for bronze medal match can be found here.

About Michael Burke