The 2016 Rio Olympics was special for Indian Badminton. After Saina Nehwal’s shocking early exit from the tournament, all hopes rested on PV Sindhu. She went on and created history by becoming the first Indian female shuttler to enter the final of the Olympics. Her opponent in that match was World No.1 Carolina Marin and there was plenty at stake.
In what turned out to be a classic encounter, Sindhu lost a classic match 21-19, 12-21, 15-21 to Marin but made the whole country proud as she settled for silver. The match laid the foundation for what was to be a classic rivalry in the coming years. Here are the 10 important moments in that epic Rio 2016 match
1 The match started brilliantly with Marin opening up a four-point lead in the first game. However, Sindhu did not allow the lead to swell and she maintained the pressure.
2 In a rally lasting 49 shots, Sindhu won the point and reduced the lead to just one point. This gave the Indian shuttler momentum as she turned the tables on Marin and raced to a lead. Sindhu held her nerve to win the first game 21-19
3 Marin races away to a 5-1 lead in the second game as Sindhu committed unforced errors at the start.
4 The Spaniard raced away to a 11-2 lead, a nine-point advantage as she fought back. In the middle stages of the second game, Sindhu was getting advice from her coach Pullela Gopichand.
5 Sindhu wins back a couple of points but Marin still leads 16-9. As the game progresses, the Spaniard’s intensity is on the rise.
6 The World No.1 displayed her ruthless streak as she clinched the second game 21-12 to level the match. The stakes are plenty heading into the final game
7 At the start of the third game, Marin moved swiftly in the court to establish a 9-5 lead. Sindhu displayed signs of fatigue and it looked like the game would slip away.
8 Sindhu, however, refused to give up and in grand style, she won six out of her next seven points to level the third game at 10-10
9 At this point, the game changed dramatically when Sindhu committed plenty of unforced errors. This allowed Marin to race away to a 20-14 lead.
10 Marin sealed the one hour 23 minute classic by defeating Sindhu 19-21, 21-12, 21-15 to become the Olympic gold medalist and the world champion.