CWG badminton: Jwala, Ashwini stun top seeds to win gold

By Avishek Roy, IANS
Thursday, October 14, 2010

NEW DELHI - India’s Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa stunned top-seeded Singaporeans Yao Lei and Sari Shinta Mulia, 21-16, 21-19 to win the gold in the badminton women’s doubles event at the Commonwealth Games here Thursday.

Jwala and Ashwini, seeded second, won the match in 39 minutes amidst loud cheers from a packed hall at the Siri Fort Sports Complex, taking India’s gold count to 37.

“It is a very emotional moment for us,” Jwala said, holding back tears. “We played very well today. It was an important match for us and we were steady throughout the match.”

The two have been in sensational form throughout the tournament and Thursday dictated terms right from the start. They retrieved with finesse and attacked with power.

The Indians were slow to begin and were down 1-4, before picking themselves up. They drew level at 7-7 and then surged ahead 14-10 to put the Singaporeans under pressure.

Jwala was quick to pounce on any opportunity to tap the shuttle, and with her subtle netplay, unnerved the Singapore pair.

Ashwini, the younger of the two, packed punch from behind with powerful smashes and showed brilliant reflexes to lift whatever came her way. The two swiftly changed their positions and were equally at ease in playing the reverse role.

In the second game, the Singaporeans kept pace with the Indians. The two teams were drawn 4-4 and from there on, there was an intense fight for supremacy. At 18-all, the Singapore pair was upset as Sari claimed she was not ready to receive Jwala’s service. But the upmire awarded the point to India. Having nosed ahead 19-18, Jwala and Ashwini closed out the match and leapt in air as the crowd broke in celebration.

Filed under: Badminton, Commonwealth Games

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