PV Sindhu saunters to maiden individual Commonwealth Games gold, completes hat-trick of CWG medals

Published on Aug 08, 2022 02:50 PM IST

India's PV Sindhu beat the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion 21-15, 21-13 in the badminton women's singles final to clinch India's 19th top of the podium finish at CWG 2022.

PV Sindhu of India celebrates(AP)
PV Sindhu of India celebrates(AP)

India's PV Sindhu took another giant step towards permanently etching her name in the badminton history books by winning her maiden Commonwealth Games individual gold and completing a hat-trick of medals at the Games with a win over Michelle Li of Canada in the women's singles final in Birmingham. Sindhu has now bettered the medal colour in all her three CWG attempts. The ace Indian shuttler had won bronze in women's singles in 2014 Glasgow Games followed by a silver in Gold Coast four years ago. On Monday, the two-time Olympic medallist beat the 2014 Commonwealth Games champion in straight games (21-15, 21-13) to clinch India's 19th top of the podium finish at CWG 2022.

With the crowd right behind her, Sindhu started the first game aggressively. The former world champion, who was a bit unusually animated right from the beginning of the gold-medal match, helped herself to a 4-2 lead. The Canadian, however, made a quick comeback with back-to-back points. That Sindhu wasn't at all interested in letting Michelle engage her in long rallies was evident when she played a down-the-line smash at the Canadian's serve at 6-6.

Sindhu was on a roll after getting to double figures. She won six straight points to make 15-8 and run away with a lead that was always going to be extremely difficult for anyone let alone Michell to cover. The Canadian world number 13, tried her best to make a comeback with a couple of nifty manoeuvres that had served her well in the semi-final against Scotland, but at 17-14 in her favour, Sindhu found an outrageous angle off her backhand to douse all of Michelle's hopes. Sindhu won the first game 21-15.

Michelle changed her strategy a little in the second game and started to target Sindhu's body - a ploy used by many opponents against the Indian to restrict the advantage she tends to get through her long reach. But like many times in the past, Sindhu found just enough space to swing her racquet. The biggest example of that came when world number 7 Indian slapped a forehand targetted at her body to win a point and make it 4-2.

Nothing seemed to be working in the former CWG champion's favour. Eight years ago, Sindhu had won bronze in the event in which Michelle had won gold but now it was a different ballgame altogether. Sindhu once again had the Canadian on the run with five back-to-back points and went into the break with a comfortable 11-6 lead.

Michell once again made a brief comeback after the break by wining a few back-to-back points and engaging Sindhu in rallies but the Indian was simply unstoppable. She took the game 21-13 to seal the victory and complete a full set of CWG individual medals.

Earlier, Sindhu rode on her technical superiority to outwit Singapore's Yeo Jia Min 21-19, 21-17 in a 49-minute contest to reach her second successive final. The Indian had also beaten Min in the team event.

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