Pulling off a stunning upset against defending champions Singapore, India’s women’s team paddlers scripted history by clinching their first ever gold medal at the Commonwealth Games. This win not only adds a seventh gold medal to India’s overall medal tally, it also avenges the women’s team semifinal defeat to Singapore in the 2014 Glasgow Games. At the Gold Coast, Indian paddlers Manika Batra, Madhurika Patkar and Mouma Das on Sunday won the final tie 3-1 against Singapore’s Tianwei Feng, Yihan Zhou and Mengyu Yu.
Manika Batra was instrumental in India’s win as she won both her individual matches against Tianwei Feng and Yihan Zhou. Batra’s first win against Feng was particularly impressive given the strength of her opponent. She was at one point trailing 2-1 in the match before leveling the tie and eventually winning 3-2. Her cautious style of play played rich dividends, especially in her second match against Zhou. With her Singaporean opponent coming out swinging, Batra bidded her time well with her defensive play till Zhou racked up the unforced errors.
Singapore levelled the tie after Batra upset Feng in the first game, with Mengyu Yu breezing past India’s Madhurika Patkar. India stole the lead in the gold medal tie by taking the doubles match. Indian pair Mouma Das and Madhurika Patkar comfortably saw off Yihan Zhou and Mengyu Yu. This meant Zhou had to win her next individual tie against Batra for Singapore to have any hope of staying alive this fixture. The Indian paddler never allowed Zhou into the match by winning the all the three games back-to-back. The scores read 11-7, 11-4 and 11-7.
India now has seven gold medals and are fourth in the overall medal tally.