The gold medal had evaded two-time silver medalist PV Sindhu. Her wait had become quite an agonising one, so much so that she often had to address this concern in press conferences and interviews. But on Sunday, when Sindhu took to the court in Basel, Switzerland, she left her opponent Nozomi Okuhara of Japan out of breath. Sindhu made history and became the first Indian to win a gold at the BWF World Championships.
There were a lot of heart-thumping moments, but just 38 minutes into the match, Sindhu won it with the scoreline 21-7, 21-7. Even renowned commentator Gill Clark was taken by surprise. "I cannot believe what I am watching. I can’t remember such a one-sided final. It was indeed one-way traffic," she said.
PV Sindhu became the only fourth singles player ever to have a full set of world championship medals.
Sindhu said that this win was extra special because it was also her mother's birthday on Sunday. Her mother, P Vijaya, couldn't have got a gift more special than this. "I dedicate this win to my mom, it's 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," said Sindhu.
Two years ago, the same two players had battled on the court for 110 minutes. It was the longest final in the history of the tournament. Despite putting in a lot of effort, Sindhu couldn't win the gold. She finished second-best and won a silver. Two years later, she defeated the same opponent.
"I lost last year in the final and the year before that. I am really very, very happy. I have waited for this victory, and finally I’ve become the world champion. I’ve no words to express my feelings because I was waiting for this,” said Sindhu.
After the win, Sindhu was seen lying on the court, exhausted. When the Indian national anthem reverberated across the St Jakobshalle stadium, the spectators saw this world champion standing at the podium with moist eyes. “It was really special when the flag went up and the national anthem was playing and I had goosebumps. I have no words to express because you play for your country and it is definitely a proud moment for me," said Sindhu.
Sindhu thanked her coaches, Kim Ji Hyun and Pullela Gopichand. She said, “A lot of credit goes to my coaches, Gopi Sir and Kim, and also to my parents as well, my support staff and all my sponsors who believed in me for the win."
Speaking about her game plan for the match, Sindhu said that she didn't think of the match as a final. “I was just focused on my game. I was not thinking of it as a final. I played like any other match, a semi-final or quarters. Usually, the Japanese girls play a lot of rallies. But I was able to dominate the long rallies. I maintained the lead and was able to finish it off," she added.
The golden girl now has Tokyo 2020 Olympics on her mind. "The qualifications are going on and I will want to do well. But today, I just want to enjoy and celebrate and not think of anything else," said Sindhu.
Congratulations, PV Sindhu! You've made us proud.
Featured Image: Instagram
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