CWG ends

India's flag is seen among its athletes during the closing ceremony of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games at the Carrara Stadium on the Gold Coast on April 15. (Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty Images)

GOLD COAST, Australia — The star badminton trio of Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth were the center of attraction as the Indian contingent ended their campaign at the 21st Commonwealth Games on a high here April 15.

India bagged a total of six medals on the final day, finishing the Games with 26 golds, 20 silvers and 20 bronze medals. This year's total of 66 medals is the third highest haul for India in the history of the CWG. India grabbed the third largest haul of medals, following behind Australia – 198 medals – and England – 166.

India’s best performance to date came at home during the 2010 Delhi Games, which produced a tally of 101 medals. That included 38 gold, 27 silver and 36 bronze.

The second highest medals tally of 69 came at the 2002 Games in Manchester, England. The Indian contingent won 30 gold at that edition along with 22 silver and 17 bronze.

Saina and Sindhu were involved in an intense, high tempo women's singles final. Saina displayed superb form to clinch a 21-18, 23-21 victory for the second CWG singles title of her career. Her maiden CWG singles gold came at the 2010 Games in New Delhi.

For Sindhu, this was the second CWG singles medal of her career, the first being bronze at Glasgow 2014.

Srikanth was involved in an equally entertaining men's singles final against Malaysian legend Lee Chong Wei. Although Srikanth dominated the opening game, Lee showed his true class later in the contest to register a 19-21, 21-14, 21-14 victory for the fifth CWG title of a glittering career.

The last two games were totally one-sided as the veteran Malaysian star handed out a masterclass in placement and deception. Srikanth was virtually reduced to a spectator as Lee piled on the points.

The men's doubles team of Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also settled for the silver medal after going down 13-21, 16-21 to England's Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge.

In squash, defending champions Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa settled for the silver medal in women's doubles after losing 9-11, 8-11 to New Zealand's Joelle King and Amanda Landers-Murphy.

This was Joshna's first and Dipika's second medal at Gold Coast after taking silver in the mixed doubles with Saurav Ghosal.

Veteran table tennis star Achanta Sharath Kamal bagged the men's singles bronze medal by beating England's Samuel Walker 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10.

Meanwhile, Manika Batra grabbed her fourth medal at this year's CWG. She bagged bronze in the mixed doubles table tennis competition in the company of Sathiyan Gnanasekaran.

Manika and Sathiyan defeated compatriots Sharath Kamal and Mouma Das 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 in the play-off for the third position at the Oxenford Studios here.

In related news, Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated India's contingent at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, saying that the competitors will motivate more youngsters to pursue sports.

"India's contingent at the 2018 Commonwealth Games has made every Indian extremely proud. All our sportspersons gave their best and played very well. I congratulate all those athletes who are bringing back medals," Modi said in a statement.

"Every athlete who represented India at 2018 Commonwealth Games inspires us. Their life stories illustrate the power of dedication and a never-say-die attitude that made them overcome countless hurdles to attain the heights of success they did at the CWG," the PM added.

"I hope India's success at 2018 Commonwealth Games motivates more youngsters to pursue sports and creates larger awareness on the importance of fitness in everyone's lives," he said, adding: "On our part, we in the Government are doing everything possible to strengthen the FitIndia movement."

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