Asian Games 2018: Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu complete medal haul from every major badminton competition
What’s the story?
Having confirmed a medal from the Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia on Sunday, Indian shuttle queens Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu have now achieved a rare feat. Both of them can now boast of medals from the prestigious quintet of badminton tournaments -- the Olympics, the World Championships, the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Championships and now the Asian Games.
In case you didn’t know
India hadn’t won a medal in individual events in badminton for 36 years since Syed Modi grabbed the bronze in front of the home crowd at the 1982 Delhi Games. On Sunday, Nehwal ended the drought when she confirmed a medal by beating former world champion Ratchanok Intanon, thereby delivering India’s maiden women’s singles Asiad medal.
An hour later, Sindhu joined her when she prevailed over Nitchaon Jindapol to assure India of yet another medal from the women’s singles category.
The heart of the matter
Nehwal was slow out of the blocks and looked very nervous in the initial stages of her quarter-final match against the World No. 4 Intanon. The Thai looked to be thoroughly in control of the proceedings when she moved ahead to 11-3 at the time of the mid-game interval in the first game.
Nehwal then brought forth her trademark fighting spirit to unnerve Intanon. As the Thai kept peppering the court with errors, Nehwal pulled off a 21-18, 21-16 win.
Sindhu had a blazing start against World No. 11 Nitchaon Jindapol, who is Thailand’s No. 2 player after Intanon. Having pocketed the opener at 21-11, she looked on course for an effortless win. However, the complexion of the match changed pretty soon as the lanky Indian went off the boil and lost her sharpness. Looking very weary and slow-footed, the World No. 3’s game collapsed into a heap of errors.
The decider seemed very tight until the mid-game interval, following which Sindhu looked more at ease and like her usual self. Riding on her attacking game, she finally managed to stave off the Jindapol challenge and make it to the Asian Games semi-finals for the first time with a 21-11, 16-21, 21-14 win.
While Nehwal goes on to face the World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying for a place in the final, Sindhu will take on the World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi. Both the semi-finals are scheduled to be held on Monday morning.
Do you think Saina and Sindhu can set up the dream all-Indian final that everybody has been waiting for? Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.