Basel: It was a case of being lucky the third time. Having lost in the semi-finals for two consecutive years, P V Sindhu on Sunday became the first Indian to win a gold in the badminton World championship.
The world No 5 beat a familiar rival and third seeded Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in a lop-sided final. With that, she has also the distinction of being the most successful women's singles player at the world meet, having won 5 medals in just 6 appearances.
The Indian won 21-7 21-7 in the summit clash that lasted just 38 minutes. Two years earlier, she was robbed of a gold by Okuhara in an epic 110-minute final at Glasgow.
But Sindhu finally exorcised the ghost of that heart-wrenching loss with a completely dominating win over the same opponent. "This means a lot, it is a big win. I had lost in the finals in the last two editions," said Sindhu in an on court interview after the match.
"I won for my country, I am really very proud," said an emotional Sindhu wearing a satisfied smile on her face."I would like to thank my coach (South Korean Kim Ji Hyun) and Gopi sir (Pullela Gopichand) and also my parents.
Today is my mother's birthday, so happy birthday mom!" she added. Sindhu has also got the monkey off her back: it had bothered her that she had been unable to win the gold medal until now. But now she has put all that behind her.
Sindhu’s gold is the second medal that India has won in the World Championships this year with Sai Praneeth winning a bronze in men's singles category.
The last time Sindhu and Okuhara met in a World Championships final was in 2017. In a pulsating encounter then, which lasted nearly two hours and involved a 73-shot rally, Okuhara had emerged victorious. Sindhu again reached the final in 2018, only to go down to Carolina MarÃn of Spain. However, she finally broke the jinx this time.