SMASHING SHOW, SAINA!

FPJ BureauUpdated: Sunday, June 02, 2019, 02:05 AM IST
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London Saina Nehwal etched her name in Indias sporting history by winning the countrys maiden medal from badminton and becoming the second Indian woman to stand on the podium after Chinas Xin Wang retired hurt from the bronze medal play- o

ff in the womens singles event at the London Games here on Saturday.

In other fields, Krishna Poonia entered the finals of the womens discus throw but the country faced reverses in other track and field events, mixed doubles tennis, rowing and womens shooting while boxing hope Vikas Krishan had the mortification of his victory in the 69kg quarterfinals being overturned following a review by the world governing body for the game.

The lead story was Sainas who bagged the bronze medal under fortuitous circumstances when her opponent – world no. 2 Xin Wang – was leading by a game and 1- 0 when she withdrew from the bronze medal contest. She twisted her knee late in the opening game when attempting an acrobatic smash from the rear court.

The Chinese shuttler was unable to continue the contest and the bronze went to Saina who became only the second Indian woman after weightlifter Karnam Malleswari ( bronze in 2000 Sydney) to clinch an Olympic medal.

It was also the countrys 10th individual medal since its first – a bronze – in 1952 by wrestler Kashaba Jadhav and its third in the ongoing Olympics after rifle shooter Gagan Narangs bronze on July 30 and pistol marksman Vijay Kumars silver yesterday.

‘This medal will change a lot of things.

We will see a change in the badminton scene and more girls will take up the sport. P V Sindhu is doing well and similarly many more girls will come through like in China and Korea,’said Saina at the post- match press conference.

‘My aim was to win an Olympic medal and I have worked hard for it for the last five, six years. The whole thing is yet to sink in, I canalt39t believe that I have actually won an Olympic medal,’she said. Saina said she will now take a few days break and watch some movies and eat chocolates.

‘I have no celebration plans, ( will) just take a few days break. I will watch some movies as I like movies.

My dad doesnalt39t allow me to eat chocolates, but probably now I can eat some chocolates. Does not matter if I put on weight,’she said cheekily.

Asked whether she slept well last night, Saina said,’I slept well last night. But could not sleep well ahead of the semi- final match. I had a feeling that I will do well. She changed her strategy in the second half of the first set,’the Hyderabadi said.

Initially I thought she ( Wang) wasting time as she was getting tired.

But later I realised that it was a serious injury,’she said.

More good news emerged from the boxing arena when Devendro carved out an impressive 16- 11 verdict over Beijing Games silver medallist Serdumba Purevdorj of Mongolia, the 2009 world light flyweight champion, in the 49kg class.

HEARTBREAK FOR VIKAS: Devendros stunning victory over his more fancied rival came as a consolation for the Indians who had been left dazed when their 69kg boxer Vikas Krishan was controversially ousted from the competition after the governing body of the game, AIBA, overturned the result of his pre- quarterfinal bout, that he had won late last night, following a review.

Indias bid to overturn his ouster later came to a nought when the world governing body for the game rejected their appeal.

‘The appeal has been rejected and we cannot do anything now,’a source in the Indian contingent told PTI. The 20- year- old Guangzhou Asiad gold medalist had won 13- 11 over over American Errol Spence in a thrilling contest last night but following an appeal by his rivals team management, the AIBA awarded the bout 15- 13 to the American citing the fouls committed by the Indian which were not noticed by the referee.

The Vikas Krishan incident was the sour talking point as his exit reduced Indias boxing hopes.

Indias campaign in athletics charted a familiar course, barr

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