The Badminton Association of India has announced a cash reward of ₹20 lakh for Sindhu and ₹5 lakh for B. Sai Praneeth who won a bronze in the BWF World Championship,

P.V. Sindhu on Sunday became the first Indian to win a Badminton World Championships gold by beating familiar rival Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in a lop-sided final here on Sunday.

The Indian won 21-7 21-7 in the summit clash that lasted just 38 minutes.

Two years after being robbed off the gold by Okuhara in an epic 110-minute final at Glasgow that went down as one of the greatest battles in badminton history, Sindhu finally exorcised the ghost of that heart-wrenching loss with a completely dominating win over the same opponent.

It was Sindhu’s fifth World Championships medal — joint most for a woman singles player with former Olympics and world champion Zhang Ning of China — to go with the two successive silvers and a couple of bronze medals.

This will be Sindhu’s fifth World Championships medal.

This will be Sindhu’s fifth World Championships medal.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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.

The fifth seeded Indian, who enjoyed a 8-7 head-to-head lead over third seeded Okuhara ahead of Sunday’s contest, was simply unstoppable as she dished out an attacking game right from the start to race to 8-1 lead.

The Indian targeted the deep corners and unleashed her big smashes to gather points at will.

A precise net shot helped Okuhara to snap Sindhu’s run of straight eight points but the Sindhu quickly got the control back when Okuhara went wide and then unleashed two good-looking smashes to enter the break with a massive 11-2 lead.

Okuhara tried to step up the pace but an alert Sindhu was up to the task. The Indian targeted Okuhara’s forehand corner to take two more points.

Sindhu used her height to produce those attacking clears which Okuhara could not negotiate. At 16-2, Sindhu committed a couple of unforced errors before again taking control of the match.

Sindhu eventually grabbed as many as 13 game points when Okuhara went long and she sealed the first game with a body blow which her rival sent out.

In the second game, Sindhu continued her rampaging form, grabbing two quick points before Okuhara earned a point with a cross court smash.

Okuhara had no answer to Sindhu’s razor sharp returns. The latter made Okuhara run to the deep corners with her acute angled returns and then swiftly followed them at the net to make life difficult for her opponent.

Okuhara seemed clueless as she ended up hitting the nets or missing the lines to allow Sindhu grab 11-4 lead at the interval.

At 16-4, Sindhu made a couple of rare errors when she hit long but that did not matter as she pounced on a weak return from Okuhara and sent it to the backline and then left her rival stranded with another powerful smash.

Sindhu grabbed the match point when Okuhara went long again and sealed the title when another superb return before throwing her hands in the air in celebration.

With Sindhu’s gold and Praneeth’s bronze in this edition, Indian shuttlers also continued the six-year streak of winning at least one medal in the prestigious event.

 

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