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World Badminton Championships: Sindhu creates history, assures India of medal

P V Sindhu has rewritten the history books by becoming the first Indian woman singles player to ensure a medal at the World Badminton Championships after scoring an upset win over local favourite Shixian Wang of China to enter the semifinals here.

Sindhu, seeded 10th, had an easy outing against the World No. 8 and seventh seeded Wang. The Indian took just 55 minutes to get the better of her fancied Chinese opponent 21-18 21-17 at Tianhe Indoor Stadium.

On a day of many firsts, the 18-year-old's giant killing ways helped her become the first Indian woman to enter the semi-finals of the tournament and in the process the first Indian to win an individual medal in the World Badminton Championships since 1983.  

P V Sindhu

PV Sindhu has become the first Indian woman shuttler to win a medal at the World Badminton Championships. File Pic

Against Wang today,  World No.12 Sindhu relied on her smashes, besides hitting as many as 19 clear winners.

The 18-year-old Indian started to dominate from the word go against the former World No 1.

After initially being tied at 3-3, the Hyderabadi surged ahead to open a slight 6-3 lead.

Determined not to lose the advantage, Sindhu kept on increasing the gap to make it 13-8. Wang, however, managed to bag four points on the trot to reduce the margin to 12-13.

But Sindhu regained her composure pretty quickly to pocket three consecutive points to once again move ahead. Wang gave Sindhu scare one more time by making it 18-19 before the Indian eventually wrapped it up 21-18.

In the second game also, Sindhu straight-away took a 6-2 lead before four straight points from Wang served as a warning bell to the Indian.

Tied at 6-6, Sindhu roared back with three consecutive points to move ahead once again and thereafter she always maintained a lead of at least a point or two.

Comfortably placed at 20-16, Sindhu wasted just one match point before she capped it off in style to seal the game 21-17.

Sindhu is having a dream run at the tournament as she had stunned defending champion Yihan Wang of China in the pre-quarterfinals.

Sindhu had earlier defeated Wang at the Badminton Asia Championship in April after being a match point down.

Sindhu was India's last chance to win a medal after Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap lost their quarter-finals earlier in the day.

This will be only the third instance that an Indian will bring home a medal at the Worlds.

Prakash Padukone won the men's singles bronze in 1983 at Copenhagen while Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa won another bronze in the women's doubles event in the last edition at London in 2011. 

A day earlier, 10th seed PV Sindhu had packed off defending champion and local favourite Wang Yihan to reach the quarterfinals.

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