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Tears of joy rolled down Ruthvika Shivani Gadde’s cheeks as she defeated P.V. Sindhu to claim the badminton singles gold here on Wednesday.
Confident and assertive, the 18-year-old hardly displayed any sign of nerves against the World No. 12 to emerge a deserving 21-11, 22-20 winner.
Later, men’s top seed K. Srikanth survived a scare before putting it across H.S. Prannoy 11-21, 21-14, 21-6 to clinch the gold.
It was a memorable day for Manika Batra, too. India’s top women’s paddler won her third gold: table tennis team, women’s doubles (with Pooja Sahasrabuddhe) and mixed doubles (A. Amalraj). However, veteran Mouma Das denied Manika her fourth gold by edging out the top seed in a seven-game thriller in the women’s singles final.
Amalraj won his maiden men’s singles SAG gold in two attempts, after G. Sathiyan injured his index and little fingers. Trailing 1-2 and with the fourth game at 2-2, Sathiyan conceded the match.
Reigning National champion Ruthvika was accurate at the net and from the backcourt. Her anticipation was excellent and hence could quickly finish off points. Ruthvika made up for her lack of power with wonderful deception and good court coverage. The first game was a cakewalk for Ruthvika, having run away to a massive 18-9 lead. Sindhu, despite her height and reach, was deceived time and again by Ruthvika’s cross-court drops and exceptional alacrity at the net.
Sindhu found her groove in the second game, with better placement of her smashes and also retrieving better. However, Ruthvika managed to stay ahead.
Ruthvika had a set point at 20-19, but Sindhu managed to force an error with a fine drop shot. Ruthvika, however, clinched her maiden SAG title on her second match point.
India clinched an overwhelming eight golds, one silver and two bronzes to finish on top in wushu.
The results (finals, all Indians):
Badminton: Singles: Men: K. Srikanth bt H.S. Prannoy 11-21, 21-14, 21-6; Doubles: Manu Atri & Sumeeth Reddy bt Akshay Dewalkar & Pranav Jerry Chopra 21-18, 21-17.
Women: Singles: Ruthvika Shivani Gadde bt P.V. Sindhu 21-11, 22-20; Doubles: G. Jwala & Ashwini Ponappa bt Sikki Reddy & K. Maneesha 21-9, 21-17.
Mixed doubles: Pranav Chopra & Sikki Reddy bt Manu Atri & Ashwini Ponappa 30-29, 21-17.
Table tennis: Men: Singles: A. Amalraj bt G. Sathiyan 6-11, 11-6, 11-6, 2-2 (conceded); Doubles: Sathiyan & Devesh Karia bt Amalraj & Sanil Shetty 11-1, 11-8, 11-6.
Women: Singles: Mouma Das bt Manika Batra 13-15, 12-10, 7-11, 15-13, 11-8, 11-13, 11-9; Doubles: Manika & Pooja Sahasrabuddhe bt K. Shamini & Mouma 11-7, 13-11, 11-5.