Birmingham, Aug 3: The Mixed Team competition was done and dusted with India losing to Malaysia in the final and settling for the silver medal, but the team’s Danish doubles coach Mathias Boe hoped the defeat will bring out the “anger” in them and trigger their “hunger” for the gold medal in the individual events.
India were the top seeds and favourite to win the Mixed Team title but went down to Malaysia with the men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty and Kidambi Srikanth losing crucial matches to lower-ranked Malaysians.
The match that hurts the most was Srikanth’s defeat to Ng Tze Yong in men’s singles. While Sindhu expectedly won her women’s singles match, albeit with a few difficult moments in the first game against Malaysia’s Goh Jin Wei, the Indians were not up to the mark in the other matches and went down 1-3.
Boa said he was looking forward to his players putting up a better performance in the Individual competitions.
“I don’t think any of us would be satisfied with winning only silver. We had come with the aim of winning the team gold, but that did not happen. So now all depends on the individual competitions. Hopefully, it should bring a little more anger out when they start the individual events.
“It is always difficult to come from a win and then start over because there the chances of failure are higher. We now come from a defeat, so my players can be thirsty for more and ready to take the last step on the podium.
“We need to digest this, reload, recharge and then get ready to shoot some bullets when we restart in the next few days,” said the coach.
Boe said there were no second thoughts on team selection as India left out the higher-ranked Lakshya Sen (10th) and instead went in with the more experienced Srikanth (ranked 13th) for men’s singles.
“We have a strong team of 10 really good players. Srikanth is a tremendous men’s singles player, Satwik/Chirag are really good men’s doubles pair and Treesa and Gayatri are really good ladies doubles players. I trust all my players in the team. So, the team that was selected today, we feel was the strongest team. I feel, we didn’t play to our best but Malaysia, they also performed well,” the 42-year-old coach, former doubles silver medallist in the Olympics, said.
Though Boe admitted that Malaysia had not done so well in team competitions recently like in the Thomas Cup, he felt Tuesday was a different day for them. The Malaysian team, according to him, had more balance than the Indians and they were also a bit lucky on some crucial points.
“Luck favours the brave. It could have also gone our way — at 18-15 in men’s doubles, they played some good points and we made a few mistakes. Maybe, (winning) the first set would have changed the momentum a little bit in the team. Srikanth could also have won the first set, and then one each in the second. These small things went Malaysia’s way today.
“We need to go back to the team and see if we can change a few things right now, and with what I have seen, it is not much. It’s just one of these days when the small margin has not gone to our side. It’s sad that it happened,” he added.
He said that it was difficult to predict the outcome of the match and decide the combination accordingly. He agreed that Sindhu was expected to win her match and she did but still there was some pressure on her.
“It does not work this way. It is difficult to sit and see that in this match, we have to win. Today, we have five relatively open matches. We could see that everyone expected Sindhu to win and that was also difficult for her. So, if it was just as easy as that, and we can say that we are favourites, this match we are going to win and not favourites in this one, we are gonna lose, then there is no point in playing a tournament,” he said.