Canada’s Li wins gold, makes history

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iol spt aug3 Li

Glasgow – Michelle Li became the first Canadian to win women's singles gold at the Commonwealth Games badminton on Sunday as she saw off the challenge of Scotland's Kirsty Gilmour and her passionate home following at the Emirates Arena.

Meanwhile India's Kashyap Parupalli was a popular winner in the men's singles final as he beat Derek Wong of Singapore in a three-game classic to win gold.

Li, who had caused a surprise on Saturday by beating top seed PV Sindhu of India, was always in control of the final winning the first game 21-14 before cruising to the second 21-7.

“I think I've added a better mental aspect to my game and that's really helped me in this tournament,” she said.

“This will mean a lot for Canada and it definitely means a lot to me. I'm really happy to have the opportunity to represent my country.

“I'm self-funded but we have a bit of government funding. We still have to put in a bit of our own money though as well as sponsors.

“That was one of the hardest matches in the tournament and I had to focus really hard.

“This will give me confidence to push in the World Championships but I will be going for gold.”

Gilmour admitted her semi-final exertions to beat Tee Jing Yi left her feeling exhausted.

“I gave so much yesterday mentally, and so much concentration that I don't think I had much left today, but I gave it my all,” she said.

“I wasn't 100 per cent right mentally out there.

“Michelle played just outstandingly today, she was on fire. She was pinpoint accurate and I just couldn't do anything with it. Maybe on another day I'll have her but today wasn't that day.

“I'm very happy with what I have achieved. Obviously it didn't go quite the way I wanted but we were almost there. This is definitely not the last for me.”

Parupalli's clash with Wong was a tense affair from the start but the Indian, who was bronze medallist in Delhi, was helped by a noisy support to win the first game 21-14.

Wong came back in the second to win it 21-11 but it was neck and neck in the final game.

Parupalli eventually took it from 19-19 in 61 minutes before ripping off his shirt in one of the most excited celebrations of the Games.

The husband and wife pairing of Chris and Gabrielle Adcock comfortably won the mixed doubles gold medal with a straightforward 21-9, 21-12 victory over English team-mates Chris Langridge and Heather Olver.

“It was pretty much a perfect game today,” said Chris Adcock, who is looking forward to a rest after a gruelling fortnight.

“We will certainly take this medal home with us. Badminton is a huge part of our lives and it is hard to switch off.” – Sapa-AFP


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