Shuttlers Srikanth, Saina create history in China

Shuttlers Srikanth, Saina create history in China

On a super Sunday for Indian badminton, K Srikanth and Saina Nehwal won the men’s and women’s singles at the China Open Super Series Premier in Fuzhou, recording a unique double.

It was the first time that an Indian male was winning a Super Series Premier event and making it sweeter was the fact that Srikanth’s title came with a win over two-time Olympic champion and five-time world champion Lin Dan of China.

For Saina, it was her third title of the year and the first since striking a coaching partnership with U Vimal Kumar in Bengaluru. The India number one defeated Japan’s Akane Yamaguchi 21-12, 22-20 for her first victory in the China Open in six attempts.

Srikanth, who held his nerve in tense situations to beat Dan 21-19, 21-17, had won the Thailand Open Grand Prix Gold last year and the win on Sunday is certain to boost his confidence.

“It is a creditable win for Srikanth who beat Lin Dan in China,” said Vimal, former national coach. “Our players have been falling short at the top level. I am sure it will help his game and raise his level.”

Saina was delighted with her success as it arrived after a rough period. “I have been working really hard for the last few months and I am extremely happy that my efforts bore fruit,” she said.

National coach Pullela Gopichand praised the efforts of the duo. “Winning the men’s and women’s singles in China is amazing. It is a brilliant effort for any nation and as an Indian I think it is a very proud moment for all of us,” he said.

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