PV Sindhu wins bronze medal to create history for India at Tokyo Olympics
PV Sindhu won in straight games against China's He Bing Jiao to add a bronze medal to the silver she had won in the Rio Olympics in 2016.
PV Sindhu created history on Sunday by winning the bronze medal match against China's He Bing Jiao at the Tokyo Olympics. She won the crucial encounter 21-13, 21-15 to become the first Indian woman ever to win two individual Olympic medals. She had lost the final of the women's singles event at the 2016 Rio Olympics to settle for a silver medal.
Sindhu needed to start strong in the match to get her self-confidence up, which must have been rattled by the one-sided semi-final loss on Saturday to Tai Tzu-Ying.
The Indian ace was off the blocks immediately with a clutch of winners and took a 4-0 lead in the first game, thanks to her attacking display. An unforced error from Sindhu gave the Chinese her first point and she made it 2-4 with a well played point at the net.
An unforced error put Sindhu 5-2 ahead, but Bing Jiao played a great cross court shot to end a long rally and then won a couple points on the bounce to tie the first game at 5-5.
Bing Jiao continued to force Sindhu to play at the net but the Indian was up to the challenge and went ahead 8-6. The two players played out a great rally with Sindhu leading 9-8 as Bing Jiao produced some great defensive play, but the Indian closed out the point with a powerful smash to go ahead 10-8. Sindhu took her advantage to 11-8 with another smash as the two players went into the mid-game break.
Sindhu came out all guns blazing after the break as she dictated the pace of the rallies really well to break away to a 14-8 lead. Bing Jiao started a mini revival as she went up to 11 points but Sindhu kept a sizeable lead over her opponent with some great display of attack and defence, as she went up 18-11.
Sindhu eventually closed out the first game 21-13 to take the lead in the match.
Sindhu was off early again in the second game as she made two good line calls and then played a great cross court smash to go up 4-1.
Bing Jiao won a couple of points to bring the deficit down to just a point but Sindhu produced another solid smash to end a rally to go up 6-4. She employed the same weapon again, hitting a down the line smash to end another longish rally to take her lead to 7-5. The narrative continued as Sindhu hit another solid smash to make it 8-5.
Bing Jiao won a couple of points on the drop to close the gap but then committed two unforced errors to stay three points adrift at 7-10. Sindhu eventually went into the mid-game break leading 11-8.
The Chinese though started well after the break, showing good court speed to win three points on the trot to level the game at 11 points apiece. But Sindhu stemmed the rot by playing two brilliant drop shots as she sped away to a 14-11 lead again.
An unforced error gave Sindhu a 15-11 lead but Bing Jiao won two points on the trot again to bring the deficit down to just two points.
Another rally ensued thereafter as both players badly wanted the next point and it was another Sindhu cross court smash that gave her a 16-13 lead.
Sindhu kept the pressure on her Chinese opponent, never letting her in with a chance as she took an 18-14 lead. Bing Jiao won a point but Sindhu made her commit an unforced error to go up 19-15.
Sindhu raced to match point with another scintillating smash and then won the bronze medal by closing the second game 21-15.