Shuttler Sindhu smashes into finals, assures silver at Rio

RSTV Bureau
Rio de Janeiro: PV Sindhu celebrate after defeating Japan's Nozomi Okuhara during a women's singles semifinal match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 18, 2016. Photo - PTI

Rio de Janeiro: PV Sindhu celebrate after defeating Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara during a women’s singles semifinal match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 18, 2016.
Photo – PTI

In an incredible feat, young shuttler PV Sindhu scripted history by becoming the first ever Indian Badminton player to reach the finals of Women’s Singles championship in the Olympics. The 21-year-old defeated Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in straight games late on Thursday assuring India of a silver medal in an otherwise lacklustre performance of a contingent at Rio Olympics.

Assured of silver medal, Sindhu will clash with two-time World Champion and top seed Carolina Marin of Spain in the gold medal match on Friday.

Sindhu’s amazing feat came a day after woman wrestler Sakshi Malik won a bronze in the 58 kg class to end the medal drought for India in the Games on the 12th day of competition. Sindhu is now in contention of becoming second ever Indian sportsmen after Abhinav Bindra to win an individual Olympic Gold medal.

On Thursday, the two-time bronze medallist at World Championship notched up a sensational 21-19 21-10 victory over the All England Champion from Japan in a pulsating semi-final that lasted 49 minutes.

The immensely talented Hyderabadi girl, PV Sindhu has done a notch better than her illustrious senior Saina Nehwal, who got country’s first medal from badminton — a bronze in London 2012.

Rio de Janeiro: PV Sindhu during her match with Japan's Nozomi Okuhara during a women's singles semifinal match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 18, 2016. Photo - PTI

Rio de Janeiro: PV Sindhu during her match with Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara during a women’s singles semifinal match at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 18, 2016.
Photo – PTI

In an intense game, Sindhu pushed her Japanese rival to the corners by playing half smashes and drops, while Okuhara continued to find the net while trying to play the cross court drops from the baseline. The Hyderabadi girl also bettered her head-to-head record which stood as 1-3 prior to this game.

“My target will be to win the gold and I will give my heart out. I feel I really worked hard each and every time. Everybody’s aim is to get a medal at the Olympics, one more match to go,” ecstatic but immensely focussed Sindhu said after the match.

At the same time, the shuttler came across unruffled by burden of expectations after storming into the Olympic finals.

“It’s nothing like pressure. It’s just that I have to give my 100 per cent. There’s one more match to go, I’m really prepared for tomorrow’s match. It’s not going to be easy. She is a really tough opponent. It’s the Olympic final, and she’s playing really well. It depends who gives her best and does well will win the final tomorrow,” she said.

Soon after the incredible game, Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to the micro-blogging site Twitter to congratulate the victorious. “You make India proud! Best of luck for the finals,” he wrote hailing Sindhu.

Showering accolades on her for the amazing performance, Congress party president Sonia Gandhi said that Sindhu has made the entire Nation proud by her spirited game. She also congratulated coach, Gopichand and Sindhu’s parents.

Several other leaders and sportstars across the country congratulated PV Sindhu, who is just a game away from penning her legend into the pages of glorious history.