In a largely one-sided match, PV Sindhu crushed Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara 21-7 21-7 to become the first Indian to win a gold at the BWF World Championships.
Speaking after her win at the BWF final in Basel, Switzerland, Sindhu said: “I won for my country. I’m really very proud about it, being an Indian.”
She added: “A big thanks to my coach, Mr. Kim, and also Gopi sir, and the whole support staff who supported me. And also to my parents and I dedicate this award to my mom — it’s her birthday today — happy birthday mom.”
Sindhu overwhelmed Okuhara 21-7 in the first game, with an aggressive, clean style of play.
The second game saw Okuhara make a brief comeback before Sindhu outmanoeuvred her opponent, making use of the full court. After this point, Okuhara was visibly struggling to keep up, with Sindhu at 11-2 by the mid-game interval.
Sindhu made the finals after beating the fourth seed Chen Yu Fei 21-7 21-14.
Sindhu and Okuhara have faced off 15 times since 2012, which Sindhu leading the Head to Head 8-7 until this match. This is the third year in a row that Sindhu is meeting Okuhara at the BWC.
The two also faced off in the summit clash of the 2018 BWF World Tour Finals. It was Sindhu’s last singles title which she won 21-19, 21-17.
It was Sindhu’s fifth World Championships medal — the joint most for a woman singles player with former Olympics and world champion Zhang Ning of China — to go with the two successive silvers and a couple of bronze medals.
Sindhu has also won an Olympic silver in 2016 Rio Games, a silver at Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, an Asian Games silver at Jakarta and the BWF World Tour Finals last year
Indian players won medals in both the Singles this year, with Sai Praneeth winning a Bronze in the men’s category.