Pusarla V. Sindhu returns a shuttlecock to Nozomi Okuhara during their women's singles final match in Basel, Switzerland, on Sunday. Georgios Kefalas / AP
Ace shuttler PV Sindhu on Sunday became the first Indian to win the BWF World Championships, crushing Japan's Nozomi Okuhara 21-7, 21-7 in just 36 minutes in a one-sided final.
Sindhu's gold is the second medal that India won at the Worlds this year with Sai Praneeth winning a bronze in men's singles category.
The last time Sindhu and Okuhara met in a World Championships final was in 2017. In a pulsating encounter that lasted nearly two hours and involved a 73-shot rally, Okuhara emerged victorious in the end. Sindhu again reached the final in 2018, only to go down to Carolina Marín of Spain. However, she finally broke the jinx this time, brushing aside her opponent with a dominant show from start to finish.
In stark contrast to Sindhu, the Japanese world No. 4 on Sunday looked completely at sea against the Indian star's relentless attacks.
Although Okuhara won the first point of the first game, Sindhu won eight straight points after that to race to a 8-1 lead. Okuhara managed just one more point before the interval with Sindhu leading 11-2.
The mauling continued for much of the second period of the opener, which ended in just 16 minutes. Okuhara got a few consecutive points towards the end to extend her score to 7 but Sindhu sealed the issue on her first game point.
In the second game, Okuhara briefly kept pace until the score was 3-2 in Sindhu's favour after which the Indian took six consecutive points to race to a 9-2 lead.
Okuhara won two more points but Sindhu kept her foot on the pedal and went into the interval with a 11-4 lead.
Okuhara went on to take just three more points in the second period as Sindhu continued to storm her way to the title. Once again, she managed to get over the line on her first match point.
This is Sindhu's fifth medal at the World Championships, which is the joint highest in women's singles in the history of the tournament along with Xhang Ning of China, a two-time Olympic gold medallist. Apart from the two silvers Sindhu won in the last two editions, she had also won the bronze in 2013 and 2014.
Dedicated to mom: Sindhu
Moments after becoming the first Indian shuttler to win the World Championships, Sindhu dedicated the historic triumph to her mother, who celebrated her birthday on Sunday, and the country.
"This means a lot, it is a big win. I had lost in the finals in the last two editions," said Sindhu in an on court interview after the match.
"I won for my country, I am really very proud," said an emotional Sindhu wearing a satisfied smile on her face.
"I would like to thank my coach (South Korean Kim Ji Hyun) and Gopi sir (Pullela Gopichand) and also my parents. Today is my mother's birthday, so happy birthday mom!" she added.
Stupendously talented: Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday congratulated Sindhu. Modi said in a tweet that the "stupendously talented" Sindhu's success will "inspire generations of players."
"The stupendously talented @Pvsindhu1 makes India proud again! Congratulations to her for winning the Gold at the BWF World Championships. The passion and dedication with which she's pursued badminton is inspiring. PV Sindhu's success will inspire generations of players," Modi tweeted.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Sunday hailed Sindhu for becoming the first Indian to win gold at the BWF World Championships. In what turned out to be a one-sided final, Sindhu crushed former world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-7, 21-7 in just 36 minutes.
"PV Sindhu creates history by becoming the first-ever Indian to claim gold in BWF World Badminton Championships! India is proud of @Pvsindhu1 My hearty congratulations! Govt will continue to provide best support & facilities to produce champions. #BWFWorldChampionships2019," Rijiju tweeted moments after Sindhu created history.
Indo-Asian News Service
Japan has decided to invest Rs13,000 crore (205.784 billion Yen) in several ongoing and new projects in different Northeastern states of India, an official release said in Agartala on Friday.
Third time lucky? It was Sindhu’s third consecutive World Championships final no doubt, but it was more than luck that saw her clinch the most prized medal. The final against Japanese top seed Nozomi Okuhara in Basel was one of Sindhu’s finest performances I have seen. For those who missed the match, the result gives an idea
While India is rejoicing over P.V. Sindhu’s stunning win at Basel, it should not forget that the country has loads of sportspersons laden with world class talent that is lying untapped.
"I want to invite them to Turin or Lisbon to come to have dinner with me because I want to give something back."
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