PV Sindhu has become the first Indian shuttler to win a gold at BWF World Championships. She is also the joint-most successful women's singles shuttler at the world meet, having won 5 medals in just 6 appearances. Sindhu became only the 4th singles player ever to have a full set of world championship medals. On Sunday in Basel, Sindhu, it seems, wanted to put an end to all the debate surrounding her inability to win the yellow metal, debate around her temperament in big matches. The Olympic silver medallist became the world champion and in style!
The 5th seed Sindhu took on 3rd seed and former champion Nozomi Okuhara in a repeat of the 2017 World Championships final in Basel. Two years ago, the two shuttlers battled for 110 minutes, the longest final in the history of the tournament. Sindhu had given it her all. She had never been pushed around like how she was by the pint-sized Japanese shuttler. Despite leaving every bit of energy she had in her on the court, Sindhu finished the second best and finished with a silver.
Two years later, Sindhu never gave an opportunity to Okuhara to do anything close to what she did in 2017. The final was over in just 32 minutes. Sindhu won it 21-7, 21-7 in just 38 minutes to become the first Indian to win a gold at the BWF World Championships.
Celebrated commentator Gillian Clarke quipped: "I can’t remember such a one sided final." It was indeed one-way traffic. The lack of drift at the St Jakobshalle in Basel worked wonders in Sindhu's favour. Her attacking game flourished. In the past, Sindhu had been tentative at the start in major finals. On Sunday, she was not. Sindhu was at her best against Okuhara, who had no answers to the Indian shuttlers aggressive approach. Sindhu was not giving it any air even in defence. She was using all four corners of the court and put pressure on Okuhara at the back-court - something that Ratchanok Inatanon did well in the women's singles semi-final. Sindhu was more clinical.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated Sindhu after she became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the BWF World Championships.