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Shuttlers win gold for the hosts

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  9 Feb 2016 12:00 AM GMT

From Our Correspondent

SHILLONG, Feb 8: A domiting India on Monday bagged gold medals in both the men's and women's badminton team events of the 12th South Asian Games at the NEHU, SAI Special Area Games in Shillong.

It was all India versus Sri Lanka in the fils and the hosts obliged the capacity crowd with clean sweeps. The strong Indian contingent was ruthless in its approach throughout and did not drop a set on its way to the gold medals.

For the men, K Srikanth went up against Buwaka Goothileka who was the first to reach 11 points and threatened to put the Indian to test. However, that was not to be. Combining his smashes well with some net dribbles, Srikanth ensured that the first set ended 21-14.

Having squandered his best opportunity to take a lead in the first set, the Lankan shuttler gave in in the second, going done by the same margin.

Sachin Dias, who had impressed one and all, with his show against Pakistan's Murad Aliq yesterday, was no match for India's HS Prannoy who tamed the Sri Lankan 21-13, 21-16 to take India 2-0 up.

The doubles pair of Manu Attri and Sumeeth Reddy then made light work of the Lankan duo of Buwaka Goothileka and Sachin Dias to earn India the Gold.

In the women's event, the flawless PV Sindhu gave India the perfect start with a 21-7, 21-5 win over Kavindi Ishadika.

However, it was the match between India's Ruthvika Shivani and Sri Lanka's Thilini Pramodika that got the crowd going. For the first time in the event, an Indian player looked like dropping a set. Trailing 17-20 at one point, Shivani seemed to be heading towards a 0-1 deficit. However, the South Asian Games debutant came back strong to take the set 23-21. There was no looking back from there as she clinched the next set 21-13.

The doubles pair of PV Sindhu and Ashwini Ponppa then completed the formalities by beating the Lankan duo of Achini Rathsiri and Upuli Samathika 21-13, 21-13.

Earlier, India went past Pakistan without much fuss in the men's semifils, beating them 3-0.

A dogged Md Irfan matched Srikanth 19-19 in the first set before the Indian took the game 21-19. As has been the order of the day throughout the competition, the rival could not withstand the Indian onslaught in the second set which was sealed 21-15 by Srikanth.

For Ajay Jayaram, the tie against Murad Aliq was devoid of any real challenge as the Indian swept over 21-11, 21-16.

The duo of Manu and Sumeeth then got the better of the Pakistan pair of Kashif Sulhari and Rizwan Azam 21-9, 21-18 in just 25 minutes.

The Indian women, meanwhile, had it even easier against Bangladesh in the semis with Sindhu wrapping up the match against Ali in merely 15 minutes. Shivani took a couple of minutes more to beat Dulaly 21-5, 21-6.

Sindhu and Ponppa then romped home 21-11, 21-12 against Brishty and Dulaly.

While Bangladesh and Pakistan bagged bronze in the men's category, Nepal and Bangladesh claimed the bronze medal in the women's category.

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