Hisar-born ace shuttler Saina Nehwal on Saturday earned India its third medal at the London Games, clinching a bronze under fortuitous circumstances as her opponent and world number two Xin Wang of China conceded the third-place play-off match due to a knee injury after winning the first game.
With the win, Nehwal also became the first Indian to win an Olympics medal in badminton. The fourth-seeded Indian had saved four game points in a dramatic fightback and was 18-20 when left-handed Xin twisted her knee while going for an acrobatic smash from the baseline and took on-court treatment for the injury.
She, however, was back on the court after wrapping her left knee in a bandage and immediately attacked Saina's serve to win the first point of the second game. But soon after, Xin could not continue and was wincing in pain before shaking hands with Saina to concede the match and the bronze medal to the 22-year-old Indian ace.
Saina had earlier reached the quarter-finals in Beijing Games four years ago and lost in the semifinals yesterday to gain a chance to play for the bronze at the Wembley Arena. This is the second consecutive day when India has won a medal. On Friday, pistol shooter Vijay Kumar had won a silver medal.