Rio Olympics: Sensational Sindhu assures India of at least a silver medal; storms into badminton final

PVS SindhuRio de Janeori: India got to see the power of women twice within 24 hours and that too on the auspicious occasion of Raksha Bandhan on Thursday when early morning Sakshi Malik first ended India’s agonising wait for a medal at Rio Olympics by clcinching the bronze medal in 58kg of women wrestling, and later in the night PV Sindhu stormed into the women’s badminton single final, assuring herself of at least a silver medal.

Sindhu defeated Japan's Nozomi Okuhara - ranked sixth in the world - in straight sets 21-19, 21-10 that lasted for 51 minutes in the semi-finals of the women's badminton singles at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Hyderabadi in the process became the first Indian shuttler to enter the final of the Olympics. In the final, she will now face two-time reigning world champion Carolina Marin of Spain, who beat defending champion Li Xuerui of China 21-14, 21-16.

Sindhu started the first game on a positive note and took a 11-6 lead at the mid-game interval. But Okuhara's reduced the margin to 10-12 before Sindhu took a 14-10 advantage. Sindhu maintained a lead three point till 17-14. Okuhara's resorted to playing at net and it helped her reduce the deficit. However, Sindhu always remained in the lead and finally won the game 21-19.

In the second game, Sindhu took a 3-0 lead but Okuhara garnered five straight points to surge ahead to 5-3. Thereafter, the rivals matched each other point by point, shot by shot, smash by smash and at the mid-game interval Sindhu led 11-10. The game after the break was a different story as Sindhu aggressive game took the Japanese off guard as she took 10 points on the trot that took her into the final with a 21-10 win in the second game.