Parupalli Kashyap brought the curtains down on India’s campaign in the 20th Commonwealth Games to a thunderous applause, winning a historic gold in the men’s singles badminton in Glasgow on Sunday, as the country earned a fifth-place finish with 64 medals, including 15 yellow metals.
The quest for a CWG hockey gold though remained unfulfilled as the Indian men’s team went down tamely 0-4 to title holders and world champions Australia in the final.
Likewise, the women’s doubles combo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa, too, had to be content with a silver medal at the Emirates Arena in Glasgow.
The story on the final day of the Games revolved around Kashyap. Playing like a man possessed, the 27-year-old stole the limelight as he etched his name firmly in the history books by becoming the first Indian male shuttler in 32 years to win a gold in the Commonwealth Games.
The three podium finishes on the final day of the Games meant India ended with 30 silver and 19 bronze, apart from the
15 top prizes.
Traditional powerhouse England led the overall standings with 171 medals, followed by Australia (135), Canada (82) and hosts Scotland, which ended the multi-sport extravaganza with 53 medals.
A bronze-medallist at the Delhi Games, Kashyap rose to the occasion and played a sensational game of nerves to eke out a breath-taking 21-14 11-21 21-19 triumph over Derek Wong of Singapore in the final showdown, which lasted over an hour.
The shuttler from Hyderabad thus joined badminton legend Prakash Padukone and the late Syed Modi, who had won the title in the past. While Padukone had won the men’s singles gold medal at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Canada, Modi retained it four years later.
It turned out to be a red letter day for World No. 22 Kashyap who bagged the biggest title of his career. He had reached the quarterfinals of the London Olympics and won the Syed Modi Grand Prix Gold in 2012.
Just after Kashyap’s moment of triumph, Jwala and Ponnappa lost their summit showdown with Malaysian combo of Vivian Kah Mun Hoo and Khe Wei Woon 17-21 21-23, leaving the holders’ title defence in tatters.