(By Steve Hopkins)
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Finals
Nigeria’s Quadri Aruna defeated India’s Sharath Achanta in one Semifinal and Singapore’s Ning Gao defeated England’s Sam Walker in the other. Neither of the Semifinal matches were ever in doubt, with the winners advancing 4-0 on both sides of the draw.
In the Final, Gao jumped out to an early lead winning the first two games of the best-of-seven set. Aruna then responded with a dominant two game stretch, allowing only 5 and 3 points respectively. But Gao righted the ship thereafter winning the fifth game 11-9 and then dominating the final game. Ning Gao over Quadri Aruna for the gold 4-2 (7, 8, -5, -3, 9, 5)
On the Women’s side, the Singapore players were seeded No. 1 and No. 2 in the event and they each advanced to the Semifinals as expected. Singapore’s Mengyu Yu defeated Canada’s Mo Zhang to advance (4-1). However, India’s Manika Batra (World No 58) upset Singapore’s Tianwei Feng (World No. 5) to ensure that it would not be an all-Singapore Finals. She then completed her great run by upsetting the other Singapore player in the Final (Batra over Yu 4-0). This has been a great tournament who also anchored India’s upset of Singapore in the Women’s team event.
The other Commonwealth Game Event winners:
Men’s Team: India, Nigeria, England
Women’s Team: India, Singapore, England
Men’s Doubles: England, India, India
Women’s Doubles: Singapore, India, Malaysia
Mixed Doubles: Singapore, England, India
Men’s Para: England (Wilson), England (Daybell), Wales (Stacey)
Women’s Para: Australia (Tapper), Nigeria (Obazuaye), Australia (McDonnell)
Team England Interview After Winning Bronze