BASEL (Switzerland) :
TWO-TIME silver medallist PV Sindhu was left speechless after her agonising wait for the elusive gold finally ended with a maiden World Championship title here on Sunday. Sindhu became the first Indian to win World Championships gold by thrashing familiar rival Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-7, 21-7 in one of the most lop-sided finals ever. Two years after being robbed of the gold by Okuhara in an epic 110-minute final that went down as one of the greatest battles in badminton history, Sindhu finally exorcised the ghost of that heart-wrenching loss with a dominating win over the same opponent. “I am really very happy. I have waited for this victory and finally I have become a world champion,” Sindhu told reporters.
“I have no words to express, because I have been waiting for so long. Last time, it was silver, before that it was silver and finally I am a world champion so I am really really happy. I have been expecting this for a very long time. So I got it finally and I want to enjoy it, feel it.” It was Sindhu’s fifth World Championships medal most by a female singles player alongside former Olympic and world champion Zhang Ning of China to go with the two successive silvers and a couple of bronze medals. Sindhu has also won an Olympic silver in 2016 Rio Games, a silver at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, an Asian Games silver at Jakarta and the BWF World Tour Finals last year. Sindhu credited her coaches for the performance and dedicated the win to her mother P Vijaya.
“A lot of credit to my coaches, Gopi Sir and Kim (Ji Hyun) and also to my parents, my support staff and sponsors who believed in me,” she said. “I dedicate this win to my mom, its her birthday today. I thought I will gift her something and finally I gift her this gold medal. It is because of my parents that I am here today.” As the Indian national anthem reverberated across the St Jakobshalle Stadium here, Sindhu stood at the podium with moist eyes. Twin gold for Bhagat; India finishes with 12 medals in para badminton World C’ships: INDIA’S Pramod Bhagat made a strong comeback to defeat England’s Daniel Bethell and clinch his third title in the men’s singles SL3 category at the BWF Para Badminton World Championships here on Sunday.
It was World No 1 Bhagat’s second gold in this World Championships having won his men’s doubles SL3-4 title on the penultimate day of the competitions. Interestingly in that match, he and his partner Manoj Sarkar came from a game down to defeat compatriots Nitesh Kumar and Tarun Dhillon 14-21, 21-15, 21-16 in the final. SL3 category is meant for players who have minor standing/lower limb impairment while SL4 is for those who have severe conditions of SL3. Overall, India finished with 12 medals, including three gold. Though the total number of medals is same as in 2015 Worlds, but back then India had four gold, making it the best ever show. On Sunday, Bhagat bettered his winning record against the Englishman Bethell to 3-1 this season with a 6-21, 21-14, 21-5 scoreline in the final that lasted almost an hour. Unlike the first game, Bhagat relied more on his rallies and half smashes to emerge winner in the next two. Having worked on his fitness in the recent past, it also added to his cause. “I took time to find my rhythm and thus started slow in the first game.
But in the second game, I increased the pace and tried controlling the match. I have played Bethell many times, so knew it will be a tough match. I am happy to finish on the winning side and take my third singles gold,” Bhagat said. “The only thing that crossed my mind after I lost the first game was that I need to make a comeback. The win here was important in terms of Tokyo2020 qualification points and also for my confidence.” With this win, his sixth singles gold this year, Bhagat extended his stranglehold in the SL3 category. In the men’s singles SL4 final, however, Tarun Tarun was forced to retire with a twisted leg midway first game against France’s World No 1 Lucas Mazur. The Indian was leading 14-13 when he retired hurt and settled for his second silver in the championships.
SRK, Taapsee congratulate Sindhu
AFTER ace shuttler PV Sindhu on Sunday became the first Indian to win the BWF World Championships, members of the Indian film fraternity, including Shah Rukh Khan, Anupam Kher, Taapsee Pannu and Karan Johar, took to social media to congratulate the ace shuttler. Hailing Sindhu’s historic feat, superstar Shah Rukh Khan tweeted: “Congratulations PV Sindhu for winning the Gold at the BWF World Championships... Making us proud as a nation with your exceptional talent. Keep creating history!” Actress Taapsee Pannu, who also owns a team in the Premier Badminton League, wrote: Finally!!!!! Ladies and gentlemen, let’s welcome the new world champion PV Sindhu. It’s the GOLD finally.” Singer Sonu Nigam described it as a proud moment for Indians. “What a proud moment for India.. PV Sindhu First Ever Indian Badminton Champion of the World. God bless India. Kudos,” he tweeted. Actress Anushka Sharma also praised Sindhu for her “terrific performance”. She said: “what a terrific performance! Congratulations.. you go girl.” An ecstatic Ranganathan Madhavan tweeted: “Way to go Sindhu. You make us So Proud. Yipeee.” Actress Rakul Singh said Sindhu is an “inspiration to so many in the country”. Actor Sonu Sood wrote: “History created. Congratulations my friend.” Actor Ashish Chowdhry tweeted: “Huge. Super huge. Thank you on behalf of all us Indians...”
Sporting fraternity hails PV
THE country’s sporting fraternity, led by cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar, on Sunday hailed PV Sindhu’s historic triumph at the Badminton World Championships, saying her feat has made India proud. Olympic silver medallist Sindhu beat Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara 21-7, 21-7 in a one-sided summit clash in Basel, Switzerland, to clinch her and India’s maiden gold in the World Championships. “Amazing performance! Congratulations on becoming the 1st ever to win the BWF World Championships! You have made India proud, yet again,” tweeted Tendulkar. Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said the country was proud of Sindhu for her unprecedented achievement.
“PV Sindhu creates history by becoming the first-ever Indian to claim gold in BWF World Badminton Championships! India is proud of @Pvsindhu1. My hearty congratulations! Govt will continue to provide best support & facilities to produce champions,” Rijiju tweeted. Sindhu’s fellow competitor and Olympic medallist Saina Nehwal also tweeted: “Congratulations to @Pvsindhu1 for the first ever world championships gold medal from India.” Other cricketing greats also congratulated Sindhu. “[email protected] on winning Gold medal at #BWFWorldChampionships2019 Great exhibition of skill, fitness and mental strength to defeat Japan’s Okuhara in such an emphatic fashion. Proud of you,” wrote former India batsman and fellow Hyderabadi VVS Laxman. Another Hyderbadi and tennis great Sania Mirza too lauded Sindhu’s achievement.
“What a champion you are girl @Pvsindhu1 congratulations.. Enjoy the moment,” she said. Badminton Association of India president Hemanta Biswa Sarma added: “Congratulations @Pvsindhu1 on winning the #BadmintonWorldChampionships by beating Nazomi Okuhara of Japan in a stunning game. “This is a historic moment for all of us. I am thrilled with joy. India is proud,” said Sarma. Former India spinner Harbhajan Singh wrote: “Congratulations PV Sindhu 1st indian to win Gold @Pvsindhu1 keep inspiring.”