Tokyo revenge for Chu Man Kai in SH 6 final triumph

Hong Kong’s Chu Man Kai avenged his gold medal loss in the Tokyo Paralympics to take the gold in the men’s singles SH 6 final against Krishna Nagar.

In another three-game epic between the two, Kai got the better of his Indian counterpart this time winning 21, 17, 19 to 14, 21, 19 in Glasgow.

It was a game of contrasting strengths, with Chu controlling the net and the more mobile Nagar dominating the backcourt.

Kai’s talents prevailed in the opening game with a number of rallies concluding at the net. This was enough to take a 20 to 14 lead where he produced an incredible drop shot on the stretch to bewilder Nagar and win the game.

Nagar’s way back into the match was evident and to start the second game, he began to control the play at a distance. When Kai would drive to the net, the Indian star would lob the shuttlecock over him and to the backline. These clever plays would result in Nagar leading 11 to 6 at the interval.

The game became closer after this as Kai closed the gap to 18 to 15, but a crucial clear to the back left corner by Nagar tied up the game for him and took the gold medal match to a deciding set.

Their distinctive styles were a joy to watch for the Glasgow crowd and left the match up for grabs for whoever could impose themselves.

It was Kai who pushed the tempo early on in the deciding set. Knowing that to get to the net he would need to play fast, he raced forward and seized an early 8 to 6 advantage. Most impressively though, he produced a long clear to take the game into the interval. If he could keep up these levels then the gold would be his.

A colossal restart from Nagar saw him storm into a 15 to 12 lead, including a show of real persistence to hit four smashes in one rally to overpower Kai.

Kai returned fire with consecutive points at the net to edge into an 18 to 16 lead, then he held his nerve to secure the gold with a 21 to 19 third-game victory.

Revenge was secured for Kai on this occasion but it remains to be seen whether the two will meet once more in Paris for this summer’s Paralympic Games.

By Nathan Hassett

Nathan Hassett (@nathanhassett__) / X