Thai teenager Ratchanok Intanon took the women’s singles title at the badminton world championships in Guangzhou on Sunday, beating Olympic champion Li Xuerui 22-20, 18-21, 21-14 in a massive upset.
Ratchanok, 18, becomes the first ever Thai player to win gold at the world championships after defeating 22-year-old top seed Li, who was gunning for her first world title. The three-game thriller was a battle of technical skill and stamina, with Ratchanok pushing a more experienced Li around the court with a sophisticated repertoire of shots.
“Before this match I didn’t have confidence when I was competing against the top players, but after today I will,” the teen said.
For the fifth time
Chinese superstar Lin Dan took the world title for a fifth time after his arch rival Lee Chong Wei was stretchered off the court in the third game.
The current world number one from Malaysia dropped to his haunches at 19-16 down, and then tried to recover.
But he had to retire from the match at 20-17 — leaving Lin, who is world and Olympic champion, to take the title 16-21, 21-13, 20-17. “I really wanted to help. I went over He didn’t want to give up,” the Chinese said.
PV Sindhu, who won a bronze in Guanzhou, will be awarded Rs 15 lakh by the Badminton Association of India.