Gold Coast (Queensland): After completing clean sweep against Sri Lanka, the star-studded Indian badminton team continued their rich vein of form as they thrashed arch-rivals Pakistan 5-0 in their Group A clash of the Mixed Team event on the opening day of the 2018 Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium here on Thursday.
In the first match, the Indian pair of Satwik Rankireddy and N Sikki Reddy eased past the Pakistan duo of Muhammad Irfan Saeed Bhatti and Palwasha Bashir 21-10, 21-13 in a mixed doubles clash that lasted more than 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, star shuttler Kidambi Srikanth continued his impressive form as he swept aside Murad Ali of Pakistan 21-16, 22-20 in the men’s doubles event to hand India a 2-0 lead.
In the women’s singles event, London Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal then handed India a victory over Pakistan as she thrashed Mahoor Shahzad 21-7, 21-11 in a one-sided encounter that lasted just 26 minutes.
Subsequently, India’s Pranaav Chopra and Chirag Chandrashekhar Shetty defeated Pakistan team of Muhammad Irfan Saeed Bhatti and Murad Ali 21-9, 21-15 in the men’s doubles event.
In the last match of the day, the women’s double team of Ashwini Ponappa and Ruthvika Gadde displayed a spectacular performance as they clinched a comfortable 21-6, 21-10 win over Pakistan’s Mahoor Shahzad and Palwasha Bashir to ensure India complete a clean sweep.
Earlier in the day, the Indian badminton team defeated Sri Lanka 5-0 in Group A of the mixed team championship to begin their campaign at the prestigious Games on a promising note.
Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikkanth had won their respective singles matches, while the pairs of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Ruthvika Gadde, Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, and Ashwini Ponnappa and N. Sikki Reddy had emerged winners in the Doubles to help India beat Sri Lanka.
In boxing, Manoj Kumar opened India’s campaign in style as he hammered Osita Umeh of Nigeria 5-0 in a one-sided round of 32 bout to book his place in the pre-quarterfinals of the men’s 69kg category.
Meanwhile, India slumped to an 87-96 defeat to Cameroon in men’s preliminary round Pool B match in basketball. With the defeat, India’s basketball campaign in the CWG 2018 also ended.
In swimming, Srihari Nataraj failed to qualify for the men’s 100m backstroke event after making an eighth place finish with a timing of 56.65sec in semi-finals.
India are currently placed sixth in the latest medal tally with two medals from weightlifting.
Weightlifter P Gururaja knocked off India’s medal tally, winning silver, in the 56kg category before Saikhom Mirabai Chanu bagged the country’s first gold medal in the women’s weightlifting 48 kg category event. (ANI)