Back with a bang!
Debunking critics who were convinced that she lacked the finesse of a championship winner –PV Sindhu comfortably claimed the BWF title in her third attempt, becoming the first Indian to ever do so
Making an indelible mark as one of India's greatest women athletes, PV Sindhu created history after clinching her first Badminton World Federation's (BWF) title. For the past two years, Sindhu had reached the World Championship finals on two occasions, only for Nozomi Okuhara (2017) and Carolina Marin (2018) to prevent her from taking the last leap. Shining atop the podium, third-time lucky Sindhu finally grabbed her place in just 38 minutes of play.
Having lost this title to the same opponent two years back in Glasgow in a 110 minute epic finale, Sindhu came on top this time, eliminating Okuhara in 38 minutes with a telling score of 21-7 21-7.
A dominating and ruthless performance by Sindhu forced critics to chew upon their comments on her inability to deliver in finals of major tournaments. Now, she is the first Indian shuttler to claim the world championship.
She is often under scrutiny for choking in big matches, having already lost the previous two BWF finals and also a historic gold at Rio Olympics. This win came as a huge sigh of relief, bringing confidence in her way ahead.
"This is my answer to the people who have asked me questions over and over. I just wanted to answer with my racket and with this win - that's all," Sindhu was quoted saying to BWF's official website.
"I felt really bad after the first World Championships final and last year, I was angry, I was sad. I went through all my emotions, asking 'Sindhu, why can't you get this one match?' but today I came and I told myself to play my game and not worry – and it worked out," she added.
Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand informed the media that there was no special or different kind of preparation for this year's final, considering the epic final the two players were involved in two years ago in Glasgow.
The gold is her fifth medal at the World Championships, making her the joint highest medal-winner in women's singles in the World Championships history with former Chinese Olympic champion Zhang Ning, who too won an identical one gold, two silver and two bronze.
Hopefully, this tournament has paved the way for the best. With Sindhu reaching her prime form, she is at that stage of her career where expectations will undoubtedly be high. As the Tokyo Olympics is right around the corner, all eyes will be on Sindhu to deliver India a long-awaited gold medal. This win will surely bolster her and the camp's confidence to go on and dominate the sport in the years to come.
Most importantly, she won the battle against the demons within herself.