Golden Victory: PV Sindhu Becomes the First Indian to Win BWF World Tour Finals
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It is going to be a ‘Happy’ New Year for PV Sindhu after all. Following a series of near-misses at clinching gold throughout the year, the badminton champion is ending the year with a historic victory. The 23-year-old badminton champion has defeated Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in her maiden season-ending BWF World Tour Finals to clinch her first gold since 2017 Korea Open.
An Unforgettable Tournament
Sindhu defeated Okuhara 21-19, 21-17 in an interesting one hour match without losing patience and persistence even once. Interestingly, the two finalists have locked horns many times in the past and in most cases, the gameplay ended with the Indian player's defeat. However, the match on December 16, 2018, at Guangzhou, China witnessed a reformed history as Sindhu swept the title without difficulty.
Despite the Indian player maintaining a respectable lead throughout, the victory didn’t come easy as the opponent wasn’t a weakling either. Throughout the two rounds, Okuhara stayed within a touching distance to Sindhu’s score but the latter proved her dominance by winning points at crucial junctures and converting the three match points in second round seamlessly to seal her victory.
The triumphant athlete holds the victory extra special due to many reasons. Having played the game since childhood, Sindhu has won various tournaments throughout her career but caught the limelight as she brought the silver home from 2016 Rio Olympics after losing to Spain’s Carolina Marin. While her skills were hailed, the question of not being able to score gold always lingered.
What was more heart-breaking is that the world number six has lost twice in the final of the World Championships. 2018, however, has been jinxed for the star from the start as she lost not only Asian Games title match but also Commonwealth Games final. Nonetheless, all is well that the end as well. And as Sindhu rightfully said post her win, "I am the winner. No one can say I don’t win in finals.”
A Force to be Reckoned
PV Sindhu has always been consistent in her performance but this particular tournament proved to be a life-changing experience for her. Throughout the championship, the Badminton star remained unbeaten against her 2017 World Championship nemesis Tai Tzu Ying, Akane Yamaguchi, Ratchanok Intanon and Nozomi Okuhara, proving her expertise in the sport.
While all her contemporaries are champions in their own right and have won tournaments in the past, many of which were against Sindhu, World Tour Finals has the Indian Badminton player’s name written over it. Her smooth victory says a lot about the shuttler abilities, proving that Sindhu is indeed a force to be reckoned.
Rewards & Recognition
Having defeated World number 1 Tai Tzu Ying and other notable players, Sindhu has proved her importance as an Indian badminton player. To celebrate her achievement, Badminton Association of India (BAI) has announced a cash reward of Rs 10 lakh for the athlete.
"It's a great year-ending for Indian badminton. Sindhu winning the Tours Final and defeating the best players to achieve the historic feat indicates the leap Indian badminton has taken,” BAI President, Himanta Biswa Sarma said.