On the 11th day of the Rio Olympics, shuttler PV Sindhu emerged as a great hope of winning a medal as she advanced to the women’s Badminton singles semi final defeating London Olympics silver medallist Wang Yihan of China. Now she will face world number six Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the semi final, which will take place on August 18. Okuhara defeated compatriot Akane Yamaguchi 11-21, 21-17, 21-10 in a hard-fought all-Japan quarter-final clash.
Facing a much higher ranked opponent, the 21-year old Sindhu remained calm and unruffled through out the match which she won 22-20, 21-19 in 54 minutes.. As the score line suggests, the match was a close affair. It was a battle of nerves, full of exciting and enterprising moments. Both players played with a great sense of responsibility and were engaged in many long rallies.
Matching point by point, Sidhu gave away excellent display of powerful smashes, clever drops, superb court coverage and neat placements and forced former world champion Wang Yihan to make mistakes at crucial stages of the match. Sidhu won the first game 22-20.
In the second game, Sindhu was in full command and raced to 5-2 lead and kept the momentum till the break with 11-8 advantage. She then forced her opponent on the back foot and took 18-13 lead and it seemed an easy win for her. But Wang Yihan came back strongly and won the next six points to take the match at pinnacle of excitement.
Trailing 18-19, Sindhu regained her composure and rattled the confidence of Wang winning three points in a row and ending the match amidst thunderous applause. With this stunning win, Sindhu became the second Indian shuttler after Saina Nehwal to make it to the last four stage in the Olympic Games.
The second Indian who was in the action was Greco Roman wrestler Hardeep Singh. He fought well and provided full resistance before loosing his opening round bout to Turkey’s Ildem Cenk in the 98 kg category by technical points. The Turkish wrestler won the bout 2-1.
With Hardeep’s defeat, Indian campaign in Greco Roman Wrestling came to an end as Ravinder Khatri had lost to Hungary’s Viktor Lorincz yesterday.
Another bad news from Rio is looming large. The participation of Narsingh Yadav in the Olympic Games is in jeopardy as World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed in the Court of Arbitration against the clean chit given to him by NADA. The hearing of the appeal has been fixed for August 18, a day before Narsingh Yadav is scheduled to appear in his bout.
|… by Arun Arnaw Khare|