Yesterday was the girl power on the Olympic stage. After the victory of Sakshi Malik, it’s time for P. V. Sindhu who smashed Japanese Nazumi Okuhara in the badminton semifinal. She made history when she reached the final of the women’s singles badminton with 21-19, 21-10 and assured herself and the country at least a silver medal.
This will be the first time India assured a silver place in badminton after Saina Nehwal gave the nation a bronze place in the 2008 London Olympics. Pullela Gopichand, her coach was feeding her game plans in every moment, reading all the moves of Okuhara in which way her game was leading. Sindhu broke all pre-game predictions which was emerging in the final peak in the post-Chinese dominated world of badminton.
In the first game which lasted for 27 minutes in which the two players kept returning their smashes and points kept coming back. However, in the second game she dominated from the very first and lead the game 3-0. After 10-all, Sindhu got her next 11 points which confirmed her place in the finals. Her smashes were so flawless that her opponent Okuhara was unable to give back the answer.
In the group stage, she beat Laura Sárosi of Hungary 21–8, 21–9 and Michelle Li of Canada 19-21, 21-15, 21-17; Sindhu defeated Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei 21-13, 21-15 in the round of 16 to reach the quarterfinals. In the eighth round she beat World no. 2 Wang Yihan of China 22-20, 21-19 and confirmed her semi-final spot.
Head coach of the Indian badminton team Gopichand predicted years ago that the lanky girl of Hyderabad would be one of the world’s top players. In 2012, she defeated Olympic gold medalist Li Xuerui in the quarterfinals of the China Masters and broke into the Badminton World Federation’s top 20 ranking. At the Common Wealth, Glasgow in 2014 she won the bronze medal in the singles and won a bronze medal at the Asian Games in Incheon.
But Friday’s final match against World No. 1 Carolina Marin is not going to be easy. Against Sindhu Marin leads the head to head encounter 3-1. Her only victory over the World No.1 came in the semi-final last year at the Denmark Open.
One last game and who knows this Indian shuttler might defeat the Spaniard World No.1 and India win a gold.