Glasgow: Delhi Games silver medallists India drew a blank in the badminton mixed team event after going down fighting to Singapore 2-3 in the bronze medal play-off at the 20th Commonwealth Games here today. Despite star attaction Saina Nehwal's pull out from the Games in the last minute, there were high expectations from Indian shuttlers especially with P V Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap and reigining Commonwealth women's doubles champion pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa up their ranks.
Singapore team members celebrate on the court after the women doubles pair of Lei Yao and Shinta Mulia Sari defeated India's Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta in the Mixed Team event at the Emirates Arena at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow on Monday. Singapore won the match 3-2 to win bronze. Pic/AFP
But the Pullela Gopichand-coached badminton contingent failed to deliver when it mattered most to return empty handed from the mixed team event. It was not the best of starts to the bronze medal encounter for 10th ranked India, who lost to 2010 Delhi Games bronze medallist England 0-3 in the semifinals yesterday.
In the opening tie, makeshift mixed doubles pair of RMV Gurusaidutt and Ashwini Ponappa fought hard before losing with an identical 19-21 19-21 scoreline to Neo Vanessa and Danny Chrisnanta in 40 minutes to hand Singapore an early 1-0 lead.
The onus was then on Kashyap to bring India level and he didn't disappoint. The 27-year-old Indian defeat Chao Huang 21-15 22-20 in 37 minutes. But 11th ranked Singapore restored their lead by winning the men's doubles contest as Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Jerry Chopra lost in straight games against the pair of Chrisnanta and Chayut Triyachart 12-21 16-21.
The responsibility was next put on world number 11 Sindhu to keep India afloat and she successfully fulfilled her duty by getting the better of Xiaoyu Liang 24-22 21-13 in the women's singles rubber.
With reigining Commonwealth Games champions Jwala and Ashwini left to take the courts, India were definitely touted as favourites by now to win the contest. In the deciding women's doubles match, Jwala and Ashwini were up against Shinta Mulia Sari and Yao Lei, a pair whom the India duo defeated en route to their Commonwealth Games title four years ago in New Delhi.
But the script turned out to be different this time around as the Singaporean girls produced a gritty performance to upstage Jwala and Ashwini 21-17 29-27 in a marathon 56-minute clash to avenge their defeat in the last edition of the Games.
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