I didn’t lose gold, I won silver: Sindhu

“It brings me an immense amount of pleasure to bring back the Silver consecutively for the second year in BWF World Championships. I didn’t lose the Gold, I won the Silver and I can proudly say my Silver Sparkles” MANMOHAN SINGH quotes ace badminton player PV Sindhu as saying immediately after her intense encounter

This is the confidence which PV Sindhu was showing after the defeat in the finals of World Badminton Championship at Nanjing (China). Had she shown this grit in the finals against Spanish giant Carolina Marin, the result could have been different.

Sindhu has been losing all the finals continuously. She lost Rio Olympic final, then Hong Kong Open final twice in 2017 and 2018, Super Series Final 2017, Indian Open and Thailand Open finals in 2018 and now this Golden Girl of Indian Badminton PV Sindhu once again failed to clinch World title as she lost to Carolina Marin of Spain 19-21, 10-21 in 46 minutes in the women’s singles final of the BWF World Badminton Championships 2018 at Nanjing, China on Sunday. Sindhu, lost in the finals last year also but then her opponent was Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, whom she beat here in quarterfinals. After the match, Sindhu said, “It is frustrating to lose in the final again. I will have to come back stronger and prepare for the next tournament”.

The first game was played on equal terms. Sindhu was moving quickly and compelling the Marin to commit mistakes. Her long serves and deep tosses making it difficult for the Marin to execute aggressive strokes. At one stage Sindhu was leading 14-9 this was the turning point. Here she let Marin off the hooks and gifted two points through unforced errors. This changed the whole scenario. Now Sindhu was dancing on Marin’s tune. The length of Sindhu’s parabolic tosses lost length; this made the Spaniard play her powerful smashes and deceptive drops quite easily. This made Sindhu upset and she lost her concentration. The focus Sindhu once lost could never be regained. This made the second game a one-sided affair. Sindhu was never in the contention. Marin wrapped up the match by conceding 10 points only.

With this medal, Sindhu has become the only Indian to have four world championship medals. Besides two silvers she had won two bronze medals at the 2013 Guangzhou and 2014 Copenhagen.

On the other hand, it is another feather in the cap of Marin. With this win, she has become the first women in the history of women badminton to win the world championships thrice — 2014, 2015 and 2018.

Sindhu started on a positive note. She was returning everything thrown on her by Marin. She was covering the court with agility. She matched the Spaniard stroke by stroke. She was pushing Marin to the baseline with her deep tosses and earning points with crosscourt delectable drops shots. Her net dribbles were effective and Marin was pushing most of them in the net. On the other hand, Marin’s crosscourt down the line strokes were falling wide. Her tosses were not deep enough to upset Sindhu.

Sindhu’s long services were troubling Marin continuously. She had no other choice than to clear the shuttle safely. This involved two players in long and exhausting rallies. Sindhu was in dominating position leading 14-9 and then 15-11.

Now, signs of fatigue started appearing on Sindhu’s face. Her body language changed. She started consuming more time in receiving service and more time in towelling; even umpire had to warn (not officially) her to come back quickly to the court. At that juncture perhaps her mind-body coordination got disturbed, and she started making unforced errors. Her state of mind was evident from her gestures. She was looking at Pullela Gopichand for some heavenly support after losing every point. She lost her confidence and the game at 19-21.

In fact, the match was over in first game itself. Her body language was very negative. She was exhausted mentally and physically. She never showed any signs of come back and surrendered the match in first five points which she gave in the start of the second game. This made Marin lead 5-0. This was the lead which never neutralized and Spaniard had no trouble in wrapping up the game 21-10 and thus clinched the world title the third time.  

This was the second consecutive defeat for Sindhu in the final of World Badminton Championship. After the match, Sindhu had shown the signs of frustration. Now after few days of the championship she has shown a confidence and took the things positively. She quoted Dough Williams, “Never give up, never give in, and when the upper hand is ours, may we have the ability to handle the win with the dignity that we absorbed the loss.”