World No 1 Kidambi Srikanth’s bid to become the second Indian badminton player to win an individual Commonwealth Gold has been squashed in utterly dominating manner by three-time Olympic silver medalist Lee Chong Wei on 15 April 2018 at Gold Coast, Australia.
Ten years his elder, the World No 7 Chong Wei marked his final appearance at the CWG by coming back from defeat in the first game to beat Srikanth 19-21, 21-14, 21-14 in the finals of the men’s singles at the Carrara Sports Arena 2. Crucial to this was forcing the decider with a dominant second game in which he repeatedly left his opponent struggling to retrieve the shuttle and looking bereft of ideas.
Srikanth still took home a silver, his first individual medal at the CWG, which extended to 65 India’s tall at the Gold Coast Games to beat the mark of 64 set four years ago at Glasgow. This is India’s most successful CWG ever, following the 101 medals won in Delhi in 2010.
In the second game, however, Chong Wei’s longevity was to the fore as surged ahead of Srikanth 17-13 and then closed it out 21-14. In the decider, Chong Wei upped his game in bullish manner to take a 7-1 lead and rarely let Srikanth settle, with some exceptional returns and smashes leaving the Indian sprawled on the court.