India’s hosting of the 2010
Commonwealth Games ended on a high note as badminton player Saina Nehwal won a
dramatic final gold of the 11-day competition to put her country second in the
overall medal table.
India had earlier suffered a
humiliating defeat in one of its most popular sports when Australia registered
a resounding 8-0 victory in the men’s hockey final for a leading 74th gold
medal and 177 in total.
But Nehwal came back from the brink
of defeat to secure India’s 38th victory, edging England into third place, as
she won the women’s singles event.
She became the first Indian to
claim a Commonwealth gold in the sport, surviving a match-point in the second
set before going on to beat Malaysian second seed 19-21 23-21 21-13 Wong Mew
It was a much-needed boost for
India, which had to deal with controversies about child labour, questions as to
whether the venues in New Delhi would be ready in time, technology faults,
disputed qualifications in athletics events and three positive drug tests —
one of whom was a home competitor, female walker Rani Yadav.
With the sporting events concluded,
the chairman of the New Delhi Organizing Committee, Suresh Kalmadi, applauded
his country’s efforts during the handing-over ceremony to the 2014 host city,
Glasgow of Scotland.
“For the world it has been
evidence of what India can do on the sporting stage. This is a new era for
Indian sport. All this has made what has turned out to be the largest, the
most-watched and the most enjoyable Games ever “, he said.
Australia, the host four years ago
in Melbourne, was the dominant country throughout the competition.