Pokhara: The Indian men’s and women’s badminton team expectedly claimed gold medals after beating Sri Lanka in their respective finals at the 13th South Asian Games (SAG) here Monday.
The men’s team led by Kidambi Srikanth, defeated Sri Lanka 3-1 in the finals, while the women’s side blanked the same opponents 3-0 in the summit clash to make it a double bonanza for India.
Srikanth started the proceedings for the men’s team, struggling past Dinuka Karunaratne 17-21, 21-15, 21-11 in the opening match. Siril Verma then gave India a 2-0 lead after his opponent Sachin Premashan retired with the scoreline reading 21-17, 11-5 in the Indian’s favour.
However, the doubles combo of Arun George and Sanyam Shukla suffered a 18-21, 21-14, 11-21 loss to Sachin and B Tharindu Goonathilake as Sri Lanka grabbed one point to make it 1-2.
Krishna Prasad Garanga and Dhruv Kapila then completed the win with a 21-14, 21-18 win over Karunaratne and Hasitha Chanaka in the second doubles match.
Earlier in the day, the men’s team mauled Pakistan 3-0 with doubles pair of Arun George and Sanyam Shukla, singles players Krishna Prasad Garanga and Siril Varma registering easy wins.
Up against the same opponents, the India women’s team also blanked Pakistan 3-0 in the semifinals to enter the summit clash against Sri Lanka.
BAI President Himata Biswa Sarma said: “Team gold medal is always special and I am confident that the Indian contingent will surpass the preview edition’s performance.”
India also won nine medals, including two golds, in taekwondo and one gold, two silver medals and a bronze in the triathlon event on the opening day. India are currently placed at the second spot with 16 medals, including five gold, eight silvers and three bronze.