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Maiden mixed final berth for India

other Updated: Oct 08, 2010 00:40 IST
Abhijeet Kulkarni

Jwala Gutta has been in the news for all the wrong reasons in the last few months with her private life being the talk of the town. On Thursday, the country's best doubles player showed that there is a lot to talk about her badminton as well when she teamed up with V Diju to set up India's 3-0 win over England in the semifinals of the mixed team event.

P Kashyap and Saina Nehwal then bulldozed through the two singles rubbers to ensure that the hosts will register their best ever performance in the mixed team event since it was introduced in 2002 Manchester Games. They will now face defending champions Malaysia.

But mixed team events have always been considered difficult for India due to the country's weakness in doubles since a tie here involves three doubles and two singles. Against England, it was important for Jwala and Diju to lay the platform for the singles players to build on. The Indian combination did just that in nullifying world No. 10 Nathan Robertson and Jenny Wallwork 21-17, 21-17 in the opening rubber.

Meanwhile, P. Kashyap upset world No. 16 Rajiv Ouseph 21-13, 21-17 to give India a 2-0 lead. National coach Pullela Gopi Chand had opted for Kashyap ahead of Chetan Anand ashe hasn’t been in good form.