Carolina Marin didn’t allow PV Sindhu to play her natural game

Both PV Sindhu and Marin were in terrific form in this Olympics. The 21-year-old Hyderabadi had rolled over Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the semi-final.

Written by Shamik Chakrabarty | Updated: August 20, 2016 11:26 am
PV Sindhu, PV Sindhu India, India PV Sindhu, PV Sindhu medal, PV Sindhu silver, Carolina Marin, Rio 2016 Olympics, sports news, sports PV Sindhu lost to Carolina Marin in the Rio 2016 Olympics final. (Source: AP)

At 10-all in the final game, it became edge-of-the-seat stuff. PV Sindhu had erased a five-point deficit to be back on level terms with the World No. 1. But Carolina Marin is, well, Carolina Marin. She showed her tactical nous and asked for a time-out. It broke the momentum that the Indian had been carrying at that point.

Marin bagged the next three points after resumption and eventually cruised to victory. Sindhu had to settle for silver; the first Indian woman to earn the honour in Olympics. She played her heart out; made a scintillating comeback, winning five points on the spin, to clinch the first game. But Marin was different league. She grabbed the match by the scruff of the neck from the second game onwards to become only the second European to win the badminton singles gold. Poul-Erik Hoyer Larsen of Denmark had won the men’s title at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

Both Sindhu and Marin were in terrific form in this Olympics. The 21-year-old Hyderabadi had rolled over Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the semi-final, playing breathtakingly attacking badminton. It would be wrong to suggest that Sindhu became a tad cautious in the final; a little defensive. Marin just didn’t allow her opponent to play her natural game.

Some shots from the Spaniard were audacious. A drop shot from the edge of the baseline in the second game was sheer poetry. The wily Marin also resorted to mind games to gain advantage over her rival. The Monica Seles-like grunt was a deliberate act. Marin also slowed the pace of the game whenever Sindhu struck top rhythm. Marin’s road to the final had been a cakewalk. She got there without dropping a game. In the gold medal contest, however, she found her match in Sindhu. The latter’s tenacity and perseverance severely tested the world champion’s resolve. She had to pull out every trick in the bag to tame the highly-talented Indian.

Like Marin, Sindhu, too, is a big-tournament player, which her two World Championship bronze medals would attest. Yes, she still doesn’t have Marin’s range of shots, but with age on her side she would improve further. The silver medal at Rio has provided Sindhu with a perfect platform to go for gold in Tokyo four years hence.

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  1. Bin
    Aug 20, 2016 at 6:19 am
    Even though Marin is clearly the better player, you can see Marin was intimidated by Sindhu's ability to blow everyone off the court. When Marin slowed down a bit near the end of the 1st set and near the 3rd set interval, the result was immediately apparent. Sindhu clawed her way back into the match.
    1. J
      Jagannadha Avasarala
      Aug 19, 2016 at 10:25 pm
      PVS pla her heart out. One cannot ask for more. Her time will come. Gold eluded her this time around but she can climb that mountain yet.
      1. Ramesh Singh
        Aug 19, 2016 at 11:52 pm
        A typical over-the-top praise-filled article. The reality is that Sindhu was in the form of her life. She is used to making exit in the first/second round of the top regular events like the Super Series, which feature the top players. But in this Olympics, she pla without any expectations and achieved an unbelievable feat. The atude in India needs to be changed. We excessively praise the winners and insult the losers, which shouldn't be the case.
        1. P
          Prof. Srikumar
          Aug 21, 2016 at 11:16 am
          Carolina Marin was the deserving winner in the Womens' Badminton in the Olympics lt;br/gt;2016 Final.She excelled in every department of the game and her intuition and aggression was unimaginable.Please keep it up,Carolina.Thank you.
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