Tokyo, August 1 (UNI): Reigning world champion P V Sindhu clinched the bronze medal after beating world no 9 He Bing Jiao of China in the badminton women’s singles third-place play-off here on Sunday.
Sindhu outclassed eighth seed Bing Jiao 21-13 21-15 in over 53 minutes at the Musashino Forest Sport Plaza court to add to her Rio 2016 silver.
In Rio Olympics, she settled for a silver medal after losing to Spain’s Carolina Marin in the final.
“It makes me feel really happy because I’ve worked hard for so many years. I had a lot of emotions going through me – should I be happy that I won bronze or sad that I lost the opportunity to play in the final,” the 26-year-old said after the match.
“But overall, I had to close off my emotions for this one match and give it my best, my all and think about the emotions. I’m really happy and I think I’ve done really well. It’s a proud moment getting a medal for my country,” she added.
With her bronze in Tokyo, she became the first Indian woman and second Indian Olympian after wrestler Sushil Kumar, to win two individual Olympic medals.
Sushil had won a bronze medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and a silver at the 2012 London edition.
With this win, Sindhu also secured India’s third medal at Tokyo. Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu has already gone back after collecting a silver, while boxer Lovlina Borgohain is assured of at least a bronze so far.
Apart from the semi-final against Tai Tzu Ying, it has been a roaring campaign for Sindhu at Tokyo.
She covered all bases, showing almost no weakness with terrific court coverage and net play.
Against He Bing Jiao, Sindhu had a 4-0 headstart. However, Bing soon erased that advantage with her angled returns and flat pushes to claw back at 5-5.
While the 24-year-old Chinese made PV Sindhu lunge often to the backhand side of the net, Sindhu was forcing her opponent to do the same on the forehand side.
Her opponent committed a few unforced errors as the 26-year old Indian went into the break at 11-8.
Thereafter, Sindhu dictated terms by combining her defence and attack to ran away with the game 21-13.
In the second game, the Chinese shuttler made Sindhu work much harder. It was getting more and more physical, but PV Sindhu absorbed the workload and took the breather at 11-8.
In the end, PV Sindhu’s powerplay was proved too much for the Chinese and Indian shuttler sealed the bronze.
“I’m on cloud nine. I’m going to enjoy this moment. My family have worked hard for me and put in a lot of effort so I’m very thankful. And my sponsors have given me their best so I’d like to thank them and enjoy the moment,” said Sindhu.