Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: On a day when shuttlers rained gold for India winning three of them Australia crashed into the party humbling men in blue 7-0 in the Men’s hockey final thus taking away bit of sheen from the celebrations as the country finished 4th in the medal tally of 61 medals – 22 Gold, 16 Silver and 23 Bronze-in the Birmingham Commonwealth Games that concluded today.
Even though India couldn’t surpass their medal tally (66) from Gold Coast Games, considering Shooting was not included in this edition, it has been an excellent performance by the Indian Contingent in this edition of the games. India finished the last day on an absolute medal rush by securing 4 Gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze.
Much was expected from Manpreet Singh led Hockey side but they simply caved in without a fight against rampaging Australians conceding seven goals without scoring even once. The Indians also failed to earn a single penalty corner and that left their fans who had packed the stadium totally disappointed. It was not the defeat but the manner men in blue caved that hurt.
Otherwise on the last day the shuttlers were outstanding throughout the games as they secured 6 medals (3 Gold, 1 Silver, 2 Bronze) medals in the 6 categories with only Mixed Doubles missing out.
P.V Sindhu started the day by securing first Gold beating seasoned Canadian Michelle Lee in straight sets (21-15, 21-13). Lakshya Sen showed grit to come from behind to beat the in- form Malaysian Tze Yong Ng in three sets (19-21, 21-9, 21-16).
In the Men’s Doubles Gold Medal match the pair of Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy & Chirag Shetty made light work of the English pairing of Ben Lane & Sean Vendy 21-15, 21-13.
In the Table Tennis table Achanta Sharath Kamal established himself as a CWG legend after he secured Gold in the Singles . This is his 3rd Gold Medal of the games and his 4th in total. Sharath has won a total of 13 medals in Commonwealth Games. He beat Liam Pitchford of England in 5 games (11-13, 11-7, 11-2, 11-6, 11-8).
Earlier Sathiyan Gnanasekaran had secured bronze in the Men’s Singles making it a 1 – 3 in the Men’s Singles after beating Englishman Paul Drinkhall in a nail-biting encounter in 7 games (11-9, 11-3, 11-5, 8-11, 9-11,10-12,11-9).
The Birmingham Commonwealth Games has been a brilliant spectacle and at the closing ceremony the Indian Contingent will be led out by Achanta Sharath Kamal and Nikhat Zareen.