Gold Coast: In a repeat of the 2010 Commonwealth Games mixed team final in New Delhi, India, the Malaysian team will face India on Monday to battle for the 2018 Commonwealth Games mixed team gold.
Malaysia won 3-1 in 2010 with its sole loss came from women’s singles, when Wong Mew Choo was defeated by Saina Nehwal 26-24, 17-21, 14-21. However, it’s fair to say that Malaysia does not hold the same advantage against India this time, as India have become a rising power in Badminton during the last four years.
On Sunday, Malaysia outlasted England 3-0 in the mixed team semifinals while India defeated Singapore with 3-0 in the top half.
Malaysia’s men’s doubles pair Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong got off to a strong start by beating England’s Chris Langridge/Marcus Ellis 21-9, 21-11 to give Malaysia a 1-0 lead, while Sonia Cheah contributed second point in the women’s singles category overcoming Chloe Birch 21-17, 15-21, 21-18.
Lee Chong Wei then contributed to Malaysia’s winning point when he swept aside the spirited challenge from Rajiv Ouseph of England to win 21-18, 21-16 in 47 minutes.
In the final against India, it is almost certain that India will pick up a point from Malaysia in the women’s singles department either through Saina Nehwal or PV Sindhu.
The men’s singles is a little tricky, although World No. 6 Lee Chong Wei has won all four previous matches against World No. 2 Kidambi Srikanth, Srikanth has proven he could beat anyone in the world if he is in top form. If India decided to play HS Prannoy in the men’s singles match, it’s going to be a 50-50 match, as Lee Chong Wei only recorded a 2-2 career meeting record against Prannoy with two consecutive losses last year to Prannoy.
Nevertheless, Lee himself would like to make his appearance in Gold Coast a memorable one as he has said this would be his last Commonwealth Games.
“I hope I can achieve my goals in Gold Coast. I’m definitely going to face a difficult match either with Srikanth or Prannoy, and I’ll do my best,” said Lee.
Lee Chong Wei also reminded his teammates that India is going to be a tough opponent.
“We need to make the best preparation if we would like to win gold for Malaysia. As a team, we should try our best.”
Goh V Shem/Tan Wee Kiong are the only shuttlers who could guarantee a point for Malaysia through men’s doubles. The mixed doubles (either through Chan Peng Soon/Goh Liu Ying or Goh Soon Huat/Shevon Jamie Lai) and the women doubles points are up for grabs.