Chetan wins bronze; Saina, Trupti lose
Melbourne, Mar 25 (UNI) Fourth seed Chetan Anand took a sweet revenge of his defeat in the team events, outlasting England's Aamir Ghaffar 2-1 to win the bronze in the Men's Badminton competition of the Commonwealth Games here today.
However, in the women section, the Indian pair of Saina Nehwal and Trupti Murgunde lost the match for a third place to second seeded English pair of Donna Kellogg and E Gali Emms in straight games 0-2.
Chetan played to a plan and had come prepared for his rival's style of play. The bearded Ghaffar had beaten the Indian in the team event and this evening the fourth seed returned the compliment with a well fought 21-17, 18-21, 21-13 victory.
The 46-minute-long match made for an exciting watch and Chetan emerged winner with deft stroke play.
The Indian attacked Ghaffar's weak defence and returns. He also managed to slow down the pace of the game and dictated the proceedings.
Ghaffar played very fast but fumbled near the net . He also conceded several negative points.
Chetan attacked on Ghaffar's body after realising that his rival was tentative in his returns and with superb smashes on the sidelines he rattled the England player.
To start with, both the players probed each other and looked content to gather a point each to take the score to 11 but from here Chetan opened up and took a two point lead (13-11) with couple of down the line smashes and superior net play helped him clinch the game at 21-17.
Ghaffar was very flat in his approach but tried to steady his game in the next game and was successful. He displayed a remarkable sense of judgment as he left several of Chetan's returns, which looked very much in but fell an inch or two out of the court, and collected seven points in this game.
Ghaffar led 7-4 but Chetan came up with two good half smashes to close the gap and then made it 8-8 taking the score to 10-10. But at this stage the Indian conceded five successive negative points and Ghaffar took over to lead 18-13.
The Indian tried hard to come back and managed three more points to make it 16-18 but conceded a negative (16-19) and followed by winning two good points (18-19). However, he smashed out a service and lost the game 18-21. It was neck-and-neck in the decider and lead kept changing hands. Chetan trailed 3-5 but then took four straight points to go ahead 7-5.
The Indian then earned several points with bodyline smashes as Ghaffar failed to return the smashes which landed on his body.
Chetan, after leading 12-10, never looked back and conceded only three points to Ghaffar to win the game 21-13 and seal the match.
This was India's second bronze medal in Badminton, having earlier won in the mixed team event. In the Manchester Games, India had won only one bronze through Aparna Popat in the women's singles.
''Well, Chetan played well and deserved to win,'' said coach Vimal Kumar.
''I was confident that we will win a medal in the open event. I was expecting medal from our women players also. Though they did not win they gave very good performance. I am very happy with them,'' he added.
In the battle for bronze in the women's doubles, India's scratch combination of Saina Nehwal and Trupti Murgunde went down fighting to second seed Donna Kellogg and E Gali Emms 14-21, 9-21 in 28 minutes.
The scoreline is not the true reflection of the resistance that the Indian players put up against their formidable rivals. Saina and Trupti were playing together for the first time in any international competition but still managed to give a good account of themselves.
They had earlier beaten the third seed pair to reach the semifinals.
Former National champion Madhumita Bisht was all praise for the duo.
''Our number one pair is Jwala Gutta and Shruti Kurian. These girls (Saina and Trupti) were entered in the double's competition at the last minute but they played extremely well against a powerful duo,'' she said.
''Doubles is a specialist' event and despite playing for the first time together they combined remarkably well,'' she added.