Asian Games 2018: PV Sindhu creates history, ensures first-ever silver in badminton
PV Sindhu created history by becoming the first Indian shuttler to reach the women’s singles final at the Asian Games when she defeated Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi in Jakarta on Monday.
The 23-year old clinched the match 21-17, 15-21, 21-10 in 66 minutes against the World No. 2.
Earlier, Saina Nehwal became the first Indian woman shuttler to claim singles medal at the Asian Games when she went down fighting against World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying 17-21, 14-21 in the other semifinal.
It was also the first singles medals in badminton after the 1982 Games when Syed Modi won the bronze. Before Asian Games 2018, India had won eight badminton medals and six of them are in team events and one in men’s doubles and one in men’s singles.
Sindhu will now fight it out with Tzu Ying to win India’s first ever individual gold in badminton.
The Indian will have to punch above her weight as she has not managed to beat the Chinese Taipei shuttler in the last contests.
Syed Modi’s bronze in men’s singles at the 1982 Games in New Delhi was the only individual medal for India at the Asian Games.
Sindhu was sluggish at the start, making unforced errors but recovered quickly to be in control.
Yamaguchi played an attacking game but the tall Sindhu had strokes to counter her rival.
Sindhu dominated the rallies and created an 11-8 lead at first break. The Indian remained solid at the net, using a variety of stroke to force the Japanese world number 2 to make errors.
A long rally ensued at 20-17 but Yamaguchi sent a smash wide to put the Indian ahead.
In the second game too Sindhu remained the dominant player but unforced errors crept in and she lost the lead.
Yamaguchi pulled off a stunning point, leading at 14-12 after forcing an error from Sindhu, who kept retrieving the shuttler, using one smash after another.
Sindhu struggled to contain errors from there and lost the game by hitting a forehand wide.
The Indian reeled off four points in a row to shoot to 7-3 in the deciding game, before taking the break with a 11-7 lead. She also won a sensational 50-shot rally to pull away 16-8.
With such a big lead at hand, Sindhu finished the match in her favour with a superb smash.
(With PTI Inputs)