India's shining stars: The sportpersons who did India proud in 2013
The badminton fraternity found a new face dominating the headlines this year in the form of teenager PV Sindhu who made the rather giant leap from the national scene to the international one winning two Grand Prix Gold titles and making history by winning bronze at the BWF World Championships. What was even more impressive was the fact that she took down former Olympic champion Wang Shixian and reigning World Champion Wang Yihan, both of China, en route to the semi-finals.
Another product of the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad and tutored under the auspices of national coach Pullela Gopichand.
The lanky Hyderabadi, still just a teenager, caused a ripple when she won the Malaysian Open early on in the season. But, the shockwaves came when she made her way into the semi-finals of the BWF World Championship in Guangzhou, China, where she was assured of a bronze after falling to eventual champion Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand.
The achievement was a monumental one, as it was the first medal for India in women’s singles at the World Championships and it was also just India’s third medal overall after Prakash Padukone’s bronze in men’s singles at Copenhagen in 1983 and Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta’s bronze in women’s doubles in the 2011 edition.
She ended the season too on a high with victory at the Macau Open, where she was the top seed and currently sits an impressive 11th in the world rankings after starting the year ranked 25th.