As the Indian flag went up above all, every Indian was filled with teary eyes and suddenly the Indian Badminton canvas glowed like never before. PV Sindhu wearing the gold medal, saluting the tricolor with a heart filled with every kind of emotion. She made the country proud today as she scripted the history to become the first-ever Indian to win the gold medal at BWF Championship.
The encounter with the Japanese opponent Nozomi Okuhara was not at all difficult for the Indian shuttler but she defeated her in two straight games 21-7, 21-7 to claim the gold medal. The match was earlier being seen as a repeat of 2017 final which was played between the same opponents. However, as it turned out, both the matches were quite interesting and different in nature.
The first final in 2017 was a tough battle which lasted for 110 minutes - the longest final in the history of the competition in which Sindhu had emerged second best despite giving it her all in a 3-game marathon. In 2019, Sindhu did not give an inch to her opponent to do anything remotely close to what she had done in 2017. The match was done and dusted in 38 minutes as she dominated the game right from the word "GO".
Indian shuttlers struggle to tackle Korean, Chinese and Japanese players
Sindhu lost the gold medal against Carolina Marin in Rio Olympics in 2016 and since then she was in continuous process of struggle to find answers for the loss. And in 2019 till today, the player had not won anything significant that she deserves through her potential.
The fact is not unknown to the world that how the Chinese, Korean and Japanese players are an emerging force and hunt down their opponents in packs, especially the Indian shuttlers. And Indian players could not answer all the questions that came to them after facing defeat from these players. But then in February, in order to ease out the burden and pressure from coach Phullela Gopichand, 2004 Athens Olympic bronze medallist Flandy Limpele, Asian Games gold medallist Kim Ji Hyun and Olympian Park Tae Sang joined forces with the coach to strengthen India's squad.
Kim and Park have been really beneficial for the Indian shuttlers as their coaches as they were a part of South Korean coaching set-up and they are engaged in the process of training singles players at PGBA in Hyderabad. Therefore, they have the perfect training plan chalked out for players like Sindhu, Srikanth, Nehwal, Pronoy, Praneeth to name a few. Kim who raised up ace Korean shuttler Sung Ji Hyun is the first foreign woman to coach the Indian squad.
In the earlier times when Gopichand, Prakash Padukone used to compete in the international tournaments, there was very less guidance to tackle the Chinese, Japanese and Korean players and reaching their level was a difficult task. And since then these continents have been cornering every Indian shuttler with their clever tactics and advanced playing techniques. But now that the Indian players have the facility to train under these foreign coaches, they can now learn ways to face these strong players and give them a tough fight in international tournaments. The move to appoint the foreign players has been taken by the authorities taking into consideration the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.
BWF Championship is considered as one of the most prestigious tournaments and this time, PV Sindhu made India proud by bagging the first-ever gold for India. Till now the only Indians to bag medals at BWF Championship are Prakash Padukone (Bronze in 1983), Sai Praneeth (Bronze in 2019), PV Sindhu (Bronze in 2013 and 2014 and Silver in 2017) and Saina Nehwal (Bronze in 2017).
We all are aware of the fact that when it comes to sports in India, cricket holds the supremacy. But lately, due to emerging players like PV Sindhu, Kidambi Srikanth, sports fans have also now turned towards other sports like badminton and have started following the sport. Even when Saina Nehwal started off with her career and gained the World Number 1 spot in 2015, everyone hailed her success, but she has been really inconsistent with her performances after that. But PV Sindhu made sure to climb up the ladder as she gathered a lot of medals for the nation.
But also winning a game does not mean conquering the world. Because not to forget, Chinese, Korean and Japanese players still hold dominance in the sport. The reason behind Saina Nehwal's inconsistent performance was her opponents figured out ways to counter her game. Therefore, PV Sindhu needs to be very tactical with her game in order to make sure that no one has the capacity to counter her attacks.
Not to forget here, Sindhu won a silver in 2017 in BWF against the same opponent and this time she made sure to extract all Okuhara's weaknesses and attack her to win the gold, and she did it well. Hopefully, her quest to win more golds will continue in the coming tournaments.
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