PV Sindhu loses 21-19, 12-21, 21-15 to Spain Carolina Marin in badminton women’s singles final at the Rio 2016 Olympics on Friday. Sindhu has to settle for a silver medal – the first by an Indian badminton player. Sindhu has also become the youngest to win a medal at the Olympics at the age of 21.
Sindhu lost but not before putting up a good fight against a much quicker Marin who was quick to latch on to shots.
In the opening game, Sindhu came back from behind to go 1-0 up against Marin. The Indian shuttler was 6-11 behind at the interval and continued to trail before she took control when the scoreline was 16-19, not in her favour.
Marin had some mishits and errors in the phase which allowed Sindhu to pocket the opening game 21-19, winning five points on the trot in the process. Highlight of the opening game was the 39-shot rally between the two. It stretched both players and Sindhu won the point when Marin sent one long.
The momentum and confidence was on Sindhu’s side but Marin showed why she is the world champion when she outplayed her opponent in the second set. The Spanish girl opened up a five-point lead early in the contest when she led Sindhu 6-1. The world champion was quickly off the blocks and she led Sindhu 11-2 at the break.
It needed a special effort to fight back from there. Sindhu did but Marin’s lead was too much for Sindhu to catch up. Marin used her angles with precision and delivered the perfect drop shots to take the second game 21-12.
In the decider, Sindhu started on the back as Marin was quickly up 4-0 and then 9-4. Then the Hyderabadi came back to win four points in a row helped by Marin’s errors and Sindhu’s incredible returns. And then at the break, Sindhu led 11-10 after Marin’s shot went long.
The second part of the deciding game allowed Marin to once again consolidate her advantage and Sindhu couldn’t recover from this surge.
At 20-14, Marin had six gold medal chances but Sindhu saved one when Marin pushed the shuttle wide. However the Indian couldn’t save the next when an angled shot by the Spaniard fell in the middle of the court – a strategy that worked very well for her in the match to win it. As the shuttle landed in, Marin dropped to the ground and there were tears of joy on her face.