India grabs two tennis gold, ends Commonwealth Youth Games at 5th
Apia (Samoa):India ended their Commonwealth Youth Games campaign in style by winning two out of the four gold on offer on the concluding day and finishing fifth in the overall medal tally in Apia, Samoa.
The Indians clinched both the boys and girls tennis singles titles through Sasi Kumar Mukund and Dhruthi Tatachar Venugopal, following their mixed doubles success together earlier. India thus won three out of five gold on offer in tennis.
With the two gold today, India ended at the fifth spot in the overall tally with 19 medals (9 gold, 4 silver, 6 bronze) behind Australia (24, 19, 19), South Africa (13, 7, 15), England (12, 16, 16) and Malaysia (11, 3, 3).
Dhruthi brushed off the challenge of Namibia's Lesedi Jacobs in the women's singles summit clash, winning in straight sets 6-3, 6-0. Her powerful ground strokes were a particular feature of her game.
"I stayed focus and gave my best every time I was on court and I think that's what got me through. Today was definitely one of the best games," Dhruthi said.
In men's singles final, Mukund controlled the game with his fast serves and power hits, proving too good for his Scottish opponent Ewen Lumsden in the match that the Indian won 6-1, 6-2.
"For this match, I was really confident. Going in I knew that I was going to play really well, I just had the will to win and I always give 100 per cent," he said.
Talking about the mixed doubles win, Dhruthi said, "It was the first time playing together and it was amazing playing with him (Kumar Mukund), it was a good experience. I hope we can play together in the future."
Chef de Mission of Indian contingent and Jharkhand Athletics Association President Madhu Kant Pathak did the honours in the medal ceremony, presenting the gold to Mukund and Dhruthi for their mixed doubles win.
Twenty-five Indians had taken part in the five-day multi-sporting event hosted by this Pacific island nation of Samoa, competed by athletes aged 14-18 from 40 countries in 107 events across nine disciplines.
"Samoa has truly delivered... the warmest, friendliest Commonwealth Youth Games ever," declared Commonwealth Games Federation President Louise Martin.