Tokyo Olympics: Sensational Sindhu
- Indian ace shuttler tames China's Bing Jiao to secure bronze medal
- Creates record by becoming India’s first woman to win 2 Olympic medals
Tokyo: Reigning world champion PV Sindhu on Sunday became only the second Indian and the country's first woman to win two Olympic medals, securing a bronze after a straight-game win over world No 9 He Bing Jiao of China in the badminton women's singles third-place play-off.
Sindhu, who has returned with medals from each of the big-ticket events such as the Commonwealth and Asian Games and the BWF World Tour Finals in the last five years, outwitted eighth seed Bing Jiao 21-13, 21-15 to add a bronze to the silver that she had secured at the 2016 Rio Games.
Wrestler Sushil Kumar is the first and only other Indian to win two individual Olympic medals, following up his bronze at 2008 Beijing with a silver at the 2012 London edition.
Up against an opponent, who had beaten her nine times so far in the last 15 meetings, Sindhu showed great determination to outplay Bing Jiao with her aggression to scoop India's third medal at Tokyo.
Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu has already gone back after collecting a silver, while boxer Lovlina Borgohain is assured of at least a bronze so far. Sindhu showed great fortitude as she recovered from her painful semifinal loss to world No 1 Tai Tzu Ying and produced an aggressive show at the Musashino Forest Plaza on Sunday.
Sindhu galloped to a 4-0 lead early on, but Bing Jiao started to engage her in rallies and waited for her to make errors. The rallies started getting intense as Bing Jiao set up the points with her angled returns and flat pushes to claw back at 5-5.
The Chinese didn't give Sindhu pace to play her power game but the Indian soon worked her way around even as her opponent committed a few unforced errors. Sindhu ended another superb rally with a cross court smash and entered the interval with another down the line hit at 11-8. The Indian stepped up the pace after the break to gather three more points and looked in total control to pocket the opening game when her opponent went wide.
After change of ends, Sindhu continued her aggressive game, egged on by coach Park Tae-Sang from the sidelines, to lead 4-1 with a cross court return. Bing Jiao tried to change the momentum, but Sindhu rode on her attacking half smashes and slices to keep her nose ahead at the interval with a three-point advantage.
Bing Jiao erased the deficit quickly before a precise smash on the line helped Sindhu wrest back control. She soon restored the three-point advantage with another cross-court drop.
The Indian didn't let the advantage slip and grabbed five match points with another of trademark smash and when Bing Jiao went wide, she held her head in disbelief before letting out a cry of victory.
Wishes pour in
Sindhu India's pride: Modi
New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday hailed ace badminton player PV Sindhu as India's pride after she won bronze in the Tokyo Olympics. He tweeted, "We are all elated by the stellar performance by P V Sindhu. Congratulations to her on winning the Bronze at @Tokyo2020. She is India's pride and one of our most outstanding Olympians." Modi also spoke to Sindhu on phone to congratulate her.
Tamilisai, KCR greet Sindhu
Hyderabad: Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan congratulated shuttler PV Sindhu on clinching bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics. She said Sindhu will be a role model for entire nation to achieve milestones in sports. It is a proud moment that Sindhu is the first woman sportsperson from India to win two medals in two continuous Olympics games, she said.
Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao congratulated Sindhu and expressed happiness over Sindhu creating history as the first Indian woman sportsperson who has accomplished the victory by winning medals in two successive Olympic games.