Pusarla V Sindhu proved too good for Canada’s Michelle Li in the women’s singles badminton final to win her maiden Commonwealth Games gold medal, in Birmingham, on Monday.
The former World champion and double Olympics medallist won 21-15, 21-13 to give India its 19th gold medal at the Games and 200th overall.
“I had been waiting for this gold for a long time and finally I have got it.
“I am super happy. Thanks to the crowd, they made me win today,” said Sindhu after the final.
Going into the final the No. 7-ranked Indian ace, who played with her left leg strapped, held an 8-2 head-to-head advantage over the Canadian, winning on both the occasions they met this year. On Monday she extended her dominance over the world No. 13.
The scores ran neck and neck early on in the final before Sindhu established a 11-8 lead at the interval in the first game.
After the change of ends two unforced errors by Li enabled the Indian to extend it to 13-8. She kept the momentum going with a good mix of drops and smashes to take the game 21-15.
The story in the second game was no different as Sindhu, who was beaten by compatriot Saina Nehwal in the final in the last edition of Games in Australia’s Gold Coast in 2018, controlled the proceedings with judicious play, luring Li to the net and going for the deep drop when the opportunity arose.
A 11-6 lead at the break virtually put an end to whatever hopes Li may have entertained of a fightback. After Li, down 9-13, won a 57-stroke rally, Sindhu went all-out for the kill, racing to 15-11.
The Canadian got just two more points as Sindhu completed a superb demolition with a cross-court winner.
Incidentally, when Sindhu won bronze at the Commonwealth Games in 2014, it was Li who won the singles gold medal.
She will now prepare for the BWF World Championships 2022, in Tokyo, starting August 21.
- Commonwealth Games 2022
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