Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Commonwealth 2014: Doubles's gold medals lift the gloom

MALAYSIA’S Commonwealth Games campaign ended on a high after days of lows as men’s doubles Goh V Shem-Tan Wee Kiong and women’s doubles Woon Khe Wei-Vivian Hoo delivered gold at the Emirates Arena yesterday.

That brought Malaysia’s overall tally to six gold medals - one short of the target - but that didn’t matter to the shuttlers, who delivered three in Glasgow despite losing the men's singles title.

V Shem-Wee Kiong beat Singapore’s Danny Chrisnanta-Chayut Triyachart 21-12, 12-21, 21-15 in a match the Malaysians could have won in straight games if not for numerous unforced errors in the second.

“It went to three games as we knew each other well after having met in the mixed team (semi-finals). The Singaporeans were highly motivated but so were we as we wanted to maintain Malaysia’s tradition in the men’s doubles,” said V Shem.

The pair, who were first paired off in the Thomas Cup Finals, expressed hope that their partnership will be maintained.

“We have clicked and understand each other well. We hope that BAM will consider making our partnership permanent after the World Championships,” said Wee Kiong.

As for Khe Wei-Vivian, their ability to handle pressure was the key in their win over India’s defending champions Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponnappa.

The Malaysians showed class en route to victory, as they saved five game points in the second to win 21-17, 23-21.

“We wanted to enjoy the final and we agreed with our coach that there would not be too many instructions from the sidelines.

“This had affected us in the semi-finals as it added to the stress that we were under and the agreement worked out perfectly,” said Khe Wei.

That it did as Khe Wei-Vivian silenced the Indian fans, who wanted to celebrate a second gold after P. Kashyap won the men’s singles title, with their fighting display.

Both games were bitterly fought with the Malaysians winning the first, thanks mainly from errors committed by the Indians. The second, however, was a tight affair until Khe Wei-Vivian started making errors when the score was 12-12.

The Indians pulled ahead to lead 20-16 and a decider looked to be on the cards. The Malaysians, however, had other ideas as the fightback began which saw them saving four game points to draw level at 20-20.

Jwala-Ashwini were again in the driver’s seat when they led 21-20 but Khe Wei-Vivian had come too far to be denied the gold as they wrapped up the final 23-21.

“We were under pressure but we told ourselves that India would be under pressure too. We came with a plan on how to play them but more importantly, we played with the belief that we could win,” said Vivian.

Malaysia were denied another medal in the women’s doubles as Lai Pei Jing-Lim Loo Yin were beaten 16-21, 21-15, 21-16 by England’s Gabrielle Adcock-Lauren Smith in the bronze playoff held late on Saturday.

India’s Kashyap beat Derek Wong of Singapore 21-14, 11-21, 21-19 for the men’s singles gold while another Indian, R.V. Gurusaidutt took the bronze.

Canada’s Michelle Li emerged as the women’s singles champion with a 21-14, 21-7 whipping of Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour. The bronze went to India’s P.V. Sindhu, who beat Malaysia’s Tee Jing Yi 23-12, 21-9 in the playoff.

*Taken from The Star Online

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