CWG: Heartbreaking loss to Sreeja Akula, misses out on bronze medal by whisker

Indian paddler Sreeja Akula suffered a loss at the Commonwealth Games here as she lost 3-4 to Australia’s Yangzi Liu in the bronze medal play-off. Sreeja lost 11-3 6-11 2-11 11-7 13-15 11-9 7-11 after making several comebacks in a match that lasted over an hour and a half. The Hyderabad-born paddler made a confident start against Liu, who looked quite nervous and the former took advantage of this to win the first game 11-3.

The Australian came back with more aggressive intent and leveled the second game at 11-6.

Buoyed by his return in the second game, Liu continued from where he had left off and did not allow the Indian to gain momentum and went on to win the third game 11-2.

Sreeja, however, displayed the first signs of his never-losing attitude and relied on his smart forehand plays to win the fourth game 11-7.

With the match set at 2–2, it was once again Liu, who went ahead with a tight match to make it 15–13 in the fifth game.

The sixth game proved to be a battle of wits between the two players, but it was Sreeja who showed his class by winning 11-9 after going 1-7 at one point.

The deciding set turned out to be as Sreeja trailed 1-6 to take a 5-8 lead.

But it was the Australian who laughed last and walked away with the bronze medal.

In the men’s section, Sharath Kamal and G Sathiyan will face the English pair of Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford in the doubles gold medal match.

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In the singles events, Sharath will take on Drinkle in the first semi-final later tonight while Sathiyan will take on Pitchford in the second semi-final.

On the other hand, the mixed doubles gold medal match will see Sharath Sreeja pair up against Malaysian pair of Jawen Chong and Karen Lin.

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