Asian Games 2018: PV Sindhu becomes the first Indian shuttler ever to enter the final at Asiad
What’s the story?
PV Sindhu added yet another feather to her cap when she booked her berth in the final of the Asian Games 2018 women’s singles badminton event in Jakarta, Indonesia on Monday. The 21-17, 15-21, 21-10 win over the World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi made her the first ever Indian, man or woman, to reach the final of any badminton event at the Asiad.
Earlier in the day, Saina Nehwal had to be content with the bronze when her challenge ended with a 17-21, 14-21 loss to the World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in the semi-finals.
In case you didn’t know
On Sunday, Saina Nehwal had become the first Indian to win an individual medal in badminton 36 years after Syed Modi had clinched the bronze at the 1982 Delhi Asian Games. Soon after, Sindhu joined her in the last-four when she got the better of Nitchaon Jindapol in three games.
Having confirmed an Asiad medal, the two girls completed their medal haul from every major badminton competition -- the Olympics, the World Championships, the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Championships and now the Asian Games.
The heart of the matter
India had previously won eight bronze medals until this edition of the Asian Games, with their highest haul coming from the 1982 Games at home, where they won as many as five. With Saina and Sindhu ensuring two more medals, India will get to add another couple, bringing their total tally of badminton medals to 10.
Among these, only Sindhu’s medal colour will be a different one. To achieve that slice of history, the 23-year-old had to work really hard in the battle between the World No. 2 and 3 in the semi-finals.
With one game in the pocket, Sindhu was comfortably heading towards victory when her intensity dipped and errors crept in. A lead of 9-6 soon vanished and Sindhu found herself trailing 12-15 to the Japanese.
Yamaguchi made use of her chances well to take the second game and force a decider. Sindhu was able to regroup herself in a stunning fashion in the third game and never hesitated to go for her attacking shots. Pressing the acceleration button, she raced ahead to 17-10 as the Japanese looked more and more uncomfortable in the face of the Sindhu onslaught.
The Indian then closed the win in 66 minutes for her second win over Yamaguchi at the Asian Games 2018, having defeated her in the team event as well.
Sindhu will now take on the top seed and World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in the summit clash on Tuesday. Tai has won their last five matches and leads their head-to-head record 9-3, but Sindhu will be hoping she is lucky this time.
After having to settle for the silver at the Olympics, two World Championships and the Commonwealth Games, she will look to grab the big one this time around.
Do you think Sindhu can reverse the trend and finally land the gold this time? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.