PV Sindhu won her first final to clinch the gold medal in eight attempts to wear the gold medal at the year-ending BWF World Tour Finals.
PV Sindhu with the trophy and gold medal after winning the World Tour Finals. (Source: Screengrab/Hotstar)
PV Sindhu had reached the final day of a tournament seven times since September, 2017 and had come up with a silver medal. On Sunday (December 16), in Guangzhou, China, that streak ended and the colour of the medal around her neck turned to yellow. With a 21-19, 21-17 win over Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara, Sindhu also became the first Indian shuttler to win gold at the year-ending tournament which pits the top-8 ranked players in the world.
Since September 17, 2017 at the Korea Open, Sindhu reached the finals of Hong Kong Open, BWF World Tour Finals, India Open, Commonwealth Games, Thailand Open, World Championships and Asian Games but came out with a silver medal each time. Question marks were raised over her mental strength to play out the gold medal match. And on Sunday, that run ended and the question marks can be put to rest.
In the week where Sindhu beat World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying to end her six match losing streak against the Chinese Taipei shuttler, the win in the final, over Okuhara who had denied her World Championship title in agonising fashion, was icing on the cake by finishing the tournament unbeaten.
Playing her third successive season-ending tournament and second straight final, Sindhu let out tears of joy and relief when she thumped a smash across the net to seal the match on first opportunity. Last year, Sindhu was beaten by another Japanese shuttler in Akane Yamaguchi – who she beat in the first match of the round robin this year.