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Gopichand lauds Indian athletes for CWG’18 performance

Former All-England champion and celebrated badminton coach Pullela Gopichand on Sunday lauded the Indian athletes on their spectacular performance in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games.

Speaking to ANI Gopichand said that the gold medal in the badminton team championship was the highlight of the 21st edition of the Games for him.

“I think overall the team’s performance has been very good. When you look at different events, everyone has played well whether it is Saina, Sindhu, Srikanth or others. For me, the gold in the team championship was the highlight,” Pullela Gopichand told agencies.

The Indian team hammered Malaysia 3-1 to clinch the gold medal on April 9.

London Olympic silver-medallist Saina Nehwal had guided India to their maiden gold in the mixed team event of the prestigious multi-sport Games.

In the opening match, the Indian duo of Satwik Rankireddy and Ashwini Ponnappa rebounded strongly from a game down to register a 21-14, 15-21, 21-15 win over Peng Soon Chan and Liu Ying Goh in a thrilling mixed doubles clash that had lasted one hour and five minutes.

Next, it was star shuttler Kidambi Srikanth who doubled India’s lead as he stunned Chong Wei Lee 21-17, 21-14 in a one-sided men’s singles clash that had lasted for 43 minutes.

However, the men’s doubles team of Chirag Chandrashekhar Shetty and Satwik Rankireddy then slumped to a shocking 15-21, 20-21 defeat at the hands of the Malaysian duo of V Shem Goh and Wee Kiong Tan.

With a 2-1 lead, all eyes were on Nehwal and the experienced shuttler did not disappoint her fans as she bounced back from a game down to clinch a 21-11, 19-21, 21-9 win over Soniia Cheah to seal the deal for India.

On a related note, the 2018 Commonwealth Games have been India’s third most successful CWG of all time.

India won a total of 66 medals, which included 26 gold, 20 silver and 20 bronze.

Earlier, India won 101 medals in the Delhi Commonwealth Games 2010 and 69 medals in the 2002 Melbourne Games.

Meanwhile, hosts Australia, and England occupied the top two spots in the medal tally this year with 198 and 136 medals respectively.

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