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World champion Sindhu glad to have answered critics with her racquet

Press Trust of India

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It was PV Sindhu's maiden BWF World Championships title.

Basel (Switzerland): PV Sindhu says she felt “angry and sad” after being criticised for not finishing on top in the last two World Championship finals and the gold medal in the just-concluded edition is her answer to all the critics who questioned her. current sports news badminton game

Two-time silver-medallist Sindhu ended an agonising wait for an elusive gold with a maiden World Championship title on Sunday. current sports news badminton game

“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 as saying by the Badminton World Federation’s (BWF) official website after her crushing win over Okuhara. current sports news badminton game

“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 came and I told myself to play my game and not worry – and it worked out,” she added.

The 24-year-old from Hyderabad became the first Indian to achieve the feat by thrashing familiar rival Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-7 21-7 in one of the most lop-sided finals ever.

It was third time lucky for Sindhu, who lost to Okuhara and Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain respectively in the 2017 and 2018 finals to settle for the silver twice. current sports news badminton game

Sindhu has been at the receiving end of criticism for coming short in the summit clashes of major events ever since the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she had finished second best to Marin. current sports news badminton game

Two years ago, Sindhu was denied the gold by Okuhara after an epic 110-minute final that went down as one of the greatest battles in badminton history. current sports news badminton game

The Indian also lost the finals of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the Jakarta Asian Games, besides the World Championships twice. She had also finished runners-up at Thailand Open and India Open last year.

The gold was her fifth medal at the World Championships. She won a bronze each in the 2013 and 2014 editions.

Sindhu is now the joint highest medal-winner in women’s singles in the World Championships history with former Olympic champion Zhang Ning of China, who won an identical 1 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze between 2001 and 2007.

“Everybody was wanting this win from me. After Rio Olympics silver medal, the expectations from me is really high. Every time I go to a tournament, everyone expects me to win a gold,” Sindhu said.

“After a year I also thought what should I do for it and instead of thinking about others, I thought may be I should just play for myself and give my 100 percent and automatically I win because thinking about others would put extra pressure on me.”

Now that Sindhu has added the missing World Championships gold to her cabinet, next in line for her will be the Olympic crown in Tokyo 2020.

“People are already asking ‘Sindhu, what about gold in Tokyo 2020?’,” she said.

“Olympics is not so far but right now it is step-by-step for me. I know the Olympic qualification is going so I hope I do well, but right now I just want to enjoy it and don’t want to think anything else.

“Badminton is my passion and I feel that I can win more titles,” she signed off.

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Sai Praneeth beaten in China Open quarterfinals

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sai praneeth
Sai Praneeth.

Changzhou, Sep 20 (PTI) B Sai Praneeth suffered a three-game loss to world no.9 Anthony Sinisuka Ginting in the quarterfinals to draw curtains on India’s campaign at the China Open World Tour Super 1000 badminton tournament here on Friday.

Almost a month after dispatching the Indonesian en route his historic world championships bronze at Basel, world no.15 Praneeth went down to the same opponent 21-16 6-21 16-21 in 55 minutes to end his campaign here.

Ginting will now take on eighth seeded Denmark’s Anders Antonsen, who had clinched the silver at the World Championships.

Praneeth, who had reached the finals of Swiss Open early this year, came into the match with a 3-2 advantage in the head-to-head count against Ginting but he ran out of steam after winning the opening game.

Praneeth opened up a 3-0 lead early on and then kept widening the gap, reaching 11-3 at the break.

Ginting tried to make a comeback and was 11-14 at one stage but the Indian ensured there were no hiccups as he pocketed the opening game comfortably.

In the second game, Ginting galloped to a 9-4 lead after grabbing six straight points and entered the interval with a cushion of 11-5.

The Indonesian continued to rule the roost after the break, jumping to a massive 18-6 lead and soon roared back into the contest.

The decider was a close affair as Praneeth erased a 2-6 deficit to catch up with Ginting and was ahead 11-7 at the breather. A fighting Ginting, however, turned the tables after reeling off six points on the trot to reach 13-12.

The Indonesian kept his hold on the proceedings after that to grab four match points and converted it easily to enter the semifinals.

Last month, Praneeth had reached the semifinals of the World Championships to end India’s 36-year wait for a men’s singles medal at the tournament.

He emulated legendary Prakash Padukone, who had also won a bronze at the 1983 edition.

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World champ PV Sindhu beaten in China Open pre-quarters

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PV Sindhu

Changzhou (China): Reigning world champion PV Sindhu made an early exit from the China Open after losing a three-game thriller against Thailand’s Pornpawee Chochuwong in the women’s singles pre-quarterfinals here on Thursday.

Sindhu, an Olympic silver medallist, squandered a first-game advantage to go down 12-21 21-13 21-19 to Pornpawee in a match that lasted 58 minutes here.

Doubles specialist Satwiksairaj Rankireddy also had a dismal day as he suffered twin defeats, losing both the men’s doubles and mixed doubles pre-quarterfinals.

In men’s doubles, Satwik and Chirag Shetty, ranked 15th in the world, ran out of steam after a decent start against fourth-seeded Japanese pair of Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda and went down 19-21 8-21 in the second-round match that lasted 33 minutes.

This is the second time Satwik and Chirag have lost to the combination of Kamura and Sonoda this year. They had lost to the world no.4 pair at the Japan Open in July.

Satwik then paired up with his mixed doubles partner Ashwini Ponanappa but the duo couldn’t get past Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo, losing 11-21 21-16 12-21 to the Japanese pair.

Sindhu, who came into the match with a 3-0 lead against Pornpawee, dominated the first game as she lead 7-1 early on but the Thai shuttler reduced the deficit to 10-11 at the break.

However, Sindhu reeled off eight straight points after the interval to jump to 19-10 and eventually sealed the first game comfortably.

In the second game, Pornpawee changed gears and moved to a 5-1 advantage initially. Sindhu clawed back to 7-9 before the Thai youngster jumped to 15-7 with six straight points and held her fort to roar back into the contest.

The decider started on an even note as the duo fought hard, moving together till 6-6 when Sindhu surged ahead to enjoy a 11-7 cushion at the break.

However, Pornpawee kept breathing down Sindhu’s neck and slowly moved to 15-19. From there, the Thai shuttler blasted six points to leave the Indian shocked.

Among other Indians in fray, Parupalli Kashyap and B Sai Praneeth will also be in action, while Ponnappa and N Siki Reddy will take on the second seeded Japanese duo of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi in the second round of the women’s doubles competition.

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Satwiksairaj – Chirag Shetty pair knocked out of China Open

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Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (left) and Chirag Shetty

Changzhou: The Indian men’s doubles pair of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty suffered a straight-game loss to Japan’s Takeshi Kamura and Keigo Sonoda to crash out of the China Open badminton tournament here on Thursday.

Satwik and Chirag, ranked 15th in the world, ran out of steam after a decent start against their fourth-seeded opponents and went down 19-21 8-21 in the second-round match that lasted 33 minutes.

This is the second time Satvik and Chirag have lost to the combination of Kamura and Sonoda this year. They had lost to the world no.4 pair at the Japan Open in July.

Later on Thursday, the mixed doubles pair of Satwik and Ashwini Ponanappa, who stunned Indonesia’s world no.7 combination of Praveen Jordan and Melati Daeva Oktavianti in the opening round, will take on Japan’s Yuki Kaneko and Misaki Matsutomo.

In the singles events, fifth seed PV Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap, and B Sai Praneeth will also be in action.

Ponnappa and Siki Reddy will take on the second-seeded Japanese duo of Misaki Matsutomo and Ayaka Takahashi in the second round of the women’s doubles competition.

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