The Indian mixed badminton team will defend its title as PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen and Chirag Shetty-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy took India to the final at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham, UK on Monday.
The Indian team beat Singapore 3-0 in the semi-finals. India will now take on Malaysia for the gold medal in mixed team badminton at CWG 2022 on Tuesday.
The Chirag-Satwik pair put up the first win for India in the last-four clash as the duo beat Singapore’s Yong Kai Terry Hee/Andy Jun Liang Kwek 21-11, 21-12.
The Indians started as favourites and played like one, with their intensity and impeccable switch of positions proving too hot for the Singapore pair, who were good in patches but not enough to trouble Chirag-Satwik.
In the next match, PV Sindhu comfortably got the better of Jia Min Yeo 21-11, 21-12. Two-time Olympic medallist and former world champion PV Sindhu gave Yeo the run-around with her soft and subtle changes of direction on the front court and then killed off points with her famous cross-court smashes.
“I was not expecting it to be an easy one, but from the beginning I made sure that I went all out and gave my best,” Sindhu said after her win. “The support was really good. We have been talking and making sure we are all going to give 100 per cent, whether sitting on a chair and cheering or playing a match.”
The third match of the tie was the most hotly anticipated one as it pitted world champion Loh Kean Yew against world championships bronze-medallist Lakshya Sen - two youngsters who are seen as the next big thing in world badminton.
The fact that it was a medal-clinching match for India while Singapore had to win to stay alive added the extra spice.
In the end, Lakshya Sen beat Loh Kean Yew 21-18, 21-15 to seal another medal for India in the mixed team event at the Games.
Both players were evenly matched in the early stages of the first game as they traded points through winners and unforced errors. Loh Kean Yew was leading 10-8 but Lakshya roared back to move into a 15-10 lead.
The Indian shuttler displayed terrific economy of movement as he hovered around the centre of the court and only took a couple of steps to play each shot. Though there was a slight wobble for Lakshya towards the end, he took the first game when Loh returned one into the net.
The second game followed a similar script as both players traded points regularly but Loh committed more unforced errors as he struggled to find the line and an anticipatory exchange at the net went the way of Lakshya which confirmed the result.