PV Sindhu becomes first Indian shuttler to win gold

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 world No. 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.

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