Saina, Aditya finish at top as India bags 3 Golds in badminton

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Pune, Oct 17 (UNI) Ace shuttler Saina Nehwal rallied back to brush aside a spirited challenge from her Indian rival Sikki Reddy to win the gold medal in the girls' singles event, while top seed RMV Gurusaidutt clinched another gold for the country in the boy's category as India made a clean sweep in the badminton competition of the Commonwealth Youth Games here today.

Trailing by a good 3-4-point margin in both the games, Saina battled her way into the match and secured a 2-0 (23-21, 22-20) win over Sikki who grabbed the silver. Gurusaidutt also had to toil hard before he overpowered his Indian counterpart Aditya Prakash 2-1 (21-18, 20-22, 21-18) in a 50 minute long tussle.

The bronze medal in the girls singles went to Panuga Riou of England who beat Malaysia's Tiffany Currier Chase 2-1 (18-21, 21-16, 21-16).

However, Sikki did get an opportunity to lay her hands on the gold medal when she partnered PC Thulasi to beat Mary Alexandra Bruce and Shan Michelle Li Man of Canada.

''I think she played exceedingly well today. I expected a good fight and she really made me work hard,'' Saina told about Sikki after the match.

Sikki did show her potential and was very pretty close make an upset today, but Saina's experience and skills put paid to her dreams of securing a gold.

In the first game itself, Sikki had taken a handsome lead and was heading to win the first game, but Saina, with her sound technique coupled with some great judgements across the court, made a dramatic turaround to take the first game.

World number 11, Saina let go a few of Sikki's smashes which could have fetches points to any of those, but Saiana made some close calls to not to offer any shot and grabbed a few points in such a manner on more than a couple of occasions.

The script, in the second game, followed exactly the same way it did in the first and though, Sikki did fight till the end but a cool-headed Saina proved better than her on the day.

With Saina already a known face in the World Badminton arena, Sikki's performance here must have raised a lot of hopes in India and even the girl is also eyeing to make some great upsets in future.

''Yes, definitely I have my future plans ready and with such kind of performances you get a lot of motivation,'' Sikki said.

In the boy's section, Aditya Prakash did not surrender easily as he made his rival earn every point before he finally caved in to the exploits of Guru.

Trailing 0-1 after the first game, Aditya made a stunning come back as he grabbed eight points on a trot to take the match into the third game but in the final game Guru upped the tempo and sealed the match after a deperate fight from his rival.

The Indian shuttlers took away the majority of medals on offer as Pranav Chopra and Sai Praneeth bagged the bronze medal after they defeated the other losing semi-finalists' pair of Gary Fox and Richard Morris of England in straight games 2-0 (21-18, 23-21).

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