WITH JUST two points to play for in the second game, PV Sindhu played a delectable drop shot, which fell agonisingly short of Nozomi Okhuhara. It was match point. And almost immediately, with pumped fists, Sindhu let out a wild roar. It looked cathartic.
Thankfully for Sindhu, she was backed by a boisterous Indian contingent who had come to cheer her. A little later, Sindhu smashed one, to complete the formalities and register a comprehensive 21-19, 21-10 win over her Japanese opponent.
By doing so, the 23-year-old has assured herself of atleast a silver medal, and created history by qualifying for the final of the women’s singles event for the first time ever. What stood out in Sindhu’s win today was her intensity and her overt display of emotions.
This was very unlike Sindhu. Perhaps, it was the enormity of the situation — a realistic chance of bagging an Olympic medal — which got her into the groove. Her approach was clinical and almost zen-like.
In between games, she would constantly keep talking to herself to egg herself on. With a silver medal assured, Sindhu now has her sights on a possible gold. For that to happen though, she will now have to overcome Spain’s Carolina Marin, who fashions herself on high intensity duels.
For the time being, it’s time to uncork that bottle of champagne and celebrate a seminal moment in India’s badminton history.