Malaysia remains well on course of retaining the team championship gold in Commonwealth Games badminton after taking a 2-0 lead over India at the Siri Fort Complex here.
India took off on the wrong foot when V. Diju and G. Jwala lost to doubles specialists Kien Keat Koo and Eei Hui Chin 14-21, 21-10, 10-21. For India to be on the winning side, it was important for the mixed doubles combination to give India a winning lead and put the pressure on the top seeded Malaysians.
Diju and Jwala could not settle down against the Malaysian make-shift combination. But, it must be remembered that Kient Keat Koo is World No.1 in men's doubles and Eei Hui Chin is ranked six in women's doubles. They combined very well and always looked like finishing stronger.
In the men's singles match that followed, an upbeat World No.1 Chong Wei Lee faced a resurgent P. Kashyap. The Malaysian favourite managed to win the first game 21-18 before proving his class with a dash of arrogance in the second, claiming it for the loss of just seven points.
Thereafter, it was upto Saina Nehwal to keep India alive in the contest. A strong crowd, that came especially to support her, watched with bated breath as Saina saved three game-points but could not prevent Mew Choo Wong from taking the first game 26-24.
Earlier, England won the bronze by beating Singapore 3-1. The triumph also helped England maintain its impressive record in the Games of winning a team medal each time.
Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork put it across Chayut Triyanchart and Yao Lei 21-13, 21-15 to put England ahead.
Rajiv Ouseph made it 2-0 by overpowering Wong Zi Liang Derek 21-15, 21-17. Xing Aiying kept Singapore in the match by easily defeating Liz Cann 21-14, 21-12.
But the men's doubles team of Anthony Clark and Nathan Robertson ended the contest with a facile 21-12, 21-11 triumph over Chayut Triachart and Hendra Wijaya.
Competitions in men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles and mixed doubles commence on Saturday. India is hoping to win at least one medal in each of these five categories.
Keywords: Commonwealth Games 2010