Rio de Janeiro: India’s PV Sindhu fell short of a historic gold medal and settled for silver as she lost to world No.1 Carolina Marin 21-19, 12-21, 15-21 in the woman’s badminton singles final of Rio Olympics 2016.
PV Sindhu, thus, failed to emulated Abhinav Bindra, who had become the first Indian sportsperson to win an individual gold medal in the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the 10m air pistol event. PV Sindhu may not have won the gold but she has earned a place in Olympic history.
Sindhu became the fifth Indian woman to clinch an individual medal in the Olympics after Karnam Malleshwari (weightlifting bronze) in 2000, Mary Kom (boxing bronze) and Saina Nehwal (badminton bronze) in 2012 Olympics and Sakshi Malik (wrestling bronze) in Rio 2016.
The Indian shuttler got off to a nervous start as Marin took a 5-3 lead in the opening game. The Spaniard maintained momentum and it looked like she would win the opening game. However, a 49-rally point, combined with some unforced errors from Marin, resulted in Sindhu winning six consecutive points to take the opening game 21-19.
In the second game, the World No.1 came out attacking and put Sindhu under immense pressure. Marin raced away to a 11-2 lead as Sindhu failed to close the gap. The Indian shuttler pulled things back with some good backhand rallies but Marin proved to be too strong and closed the game out 21-12.
In the third game, both players did not yield an inch and at 10-10, it could have been anyone’s game. However, Marin’s big match experience and fitness helped her win the big points as Sindhu struggled at the net. In the end, Marin won the third game 21-15 to become the first European shuttler to win gold in badminton.