File photo of PV Sindhu. Photograph:( PTI )
The Olympic silver medallist broke her silver jinx and clinched a gold medal in the recently concluded BWF World Tour Finals.
India's star shuttler PV Sindhu broke her silver jinx and clinched a gold medal in the recently concluded BWF World Tour Finals. By virtue of this win, Sindhu became the first Indian woman to win the badminton tournament.
The win was also special as the Olympic silver medallist had failed to emerge victorious in seven consecutive finals, resulting in constant questions over her lack of success.
Sindhu battled it out hard against familiar foe Nozomi Okuhara who has been a formidable opponent over the years to end the year on a winning note.
"I am happy that I am the first Indian woman to win this tournament. This is the first time that I have got a gold, earlier I have come to the finals seven times but I lost (settled for silver). Many people asked me "What's happening in the finals?", but I want to tell everybody that I have clinched a gold this time," she said.
The win wasn't a cakewalk as Okuhara gave a tough fight and equalised when Sindhu was dominating the game.
The shuttler, however, citing her positivity and concentration as the factors which turned the tide in her favour.
"As the match began, I had taken the lead initially but Nozomi made a comeback. There was a stage where the score was like 15-15, 16-16. That's when the pressure builds because although you've taken the lead, the opponent has managed to equalise. But I took this positively and concentrated only on the next shot. Every point was important.
When asked if there was any particular strategy that worked in her favour, to which Sindhu replied she just tried to keep her focus intact.
"We know each other's game well, therefore going on the court and immediately strategising is very difficult. Pressure tends to build up and that's where we give away points. But all that aside, I tried keeping my focus intact and was able to win," the shuttler added.
In 2019, Sindhu will witness a lot of tournaments as well as qualifiers for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
On being asked what extra she plans to do for the next year to make it better than 2018, Sindhu said, her main aim would be to remain fit.
"2018 has been really special for me. I lost in the finals but I am proud that I have won silver medals. There will be many tournaments in 2019 with qualifiers for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 also set to take place. My main aim and focus will be on staying fit and maintaining my off court and on court stamina," concluded the 23-year-old.
The win took her to No. 3 in the players’ rankings, and also third in women’s badminton singles prize earnings this year.