Nanjing (China) : PV Sindhu finished second best yet again in a major tournament final as she went down tamely to Carolina Marin in the World Championships’ women’s singles title clash, adding to the Indian’s tale of woes on Sunday.
The Olympic silver medallist settled for another white metal in the showpiece following a 19-21, 10-21 loss to Olympic champion Marin of Spain. Interestingly, Marin had also defeated Sindhu in the final of the Rio Olympics in 2016. “It is very frustrating to loss again. Last time also I had played the finals. It is quite sad and I have to come back stronger and get back to the sessions and prepare for the next tournament,” said Sindhu, who suffered her fourth final loss this season.
“Sometimes it is not your day, ups and downs will always be there and you have to always be stronger.
“A bit sad because I was expecting a good one but overall a good match and I am happy I came to the finals and winning and losing are parts of life and I have to take it as it is,” she added.
Since 2016, it is Sindhu’s eighth loss in major finals, including defeats at Rio Olympics, Hong Kong Open (2017, 2018), Super Series Final (2017), India Open (2018) and Thailand Open (2018). The 23-year-old Sindhu, who had lost an epic final to Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara at Glasgow last year, didn’t have answers to Marin’s blistering pace in the 45 minutes that the match lasted.
The second silver meant Sindhu is the only Indian to have four world championships podium finishes. She had won two bronze medals at the 2013 Guangzhou and 2014 Copenhagen editions.
Marin became the first woman shuttler to win the world championships thrice. She had won the title in 2014 and the 2015 Jakarta edition. “I can’t express my emotions. I have so many emotions inside me. I have been waiting for this moment long time. I am happy I could believe in myself this week,” she said.
Sindhu had entered the summit clash with a 5-6 loss-win head-to-head against Marin, but the Indian ace had won the last meeting at the Malaysian Open in June. “Carolina has that speed and she is very aggressive. She played very fast and quick paced during the tournament. I was prepared for her pace game,” Sindhu said.
The feisty Martin tried to put pressure on Sindhu by celebrating each point with her trademark scream while parading the court. Sindhu lagged 1-3 early on but the Indian slowly made her way to grab a 4-3 lead after producing a brilliant drop.
With Sindhu in full flow, the left-handed spaniard tried to put the shot close to the line but ended up committing too many unforced errors as Sindhu led 11-8 at the break after Martin sent the shuttle out thrice. Sindhu extended the lead to 15-11 after the breather but she found the net twice and also hit wide to allow Marin claw back at 15-15. A smash by Marin and Sindhu hitting wide gave two game points to the Spaniard and she converted on the second chance.
Marin began the second game with her usual aggressive demeanour as Sindhu found her pace too hot to handle. Indian continued to struggle to keep the shuttle inside the court and leaked points. Eventually two unforced errors handed Marin her third title.
Momota claims gold
Kento Momota became the first Japanese man to win the badminton World Championships, putting behind him a gambling scandal that threatened to ruin his career. The explosive 23-year-old convincingly defeated China’s highly promising Shi Yuqi 21-11, 21-13 in Nanjing.
Momota’s nascent career descended into controversy in 2016 when Japanese badminton chiefs suspended him for more than a year for visiting an illegal casino, denying him a place at the Rio Olympics.
Momota, number two in the world at the time, has been working his way back to the top ever since and the world-ranked seven is currently in the form of his life. The brilliantly agile 22-year-old defeated legend Lin Dan and Olympic champion Chen Long on the way to the final.