Ruthvika stuns Sindhu to claim gold in badminton

Ruthvika stuns Sindhu to claim gold in badminton

Rising star Ruthvika Shivani created the biggest upset stunning PV Sindhu in straight games to win the women’s singles gold medal with India bagging seven gold and five silver medals from the badminton event of the South Asian Games, here on Wednesday.

K Shrikant emerged the men’s singles champion as he came back from a game down to pip HS Prannoy 11-21, 21-14, 21-6 in a thrilling summit clash.

Ruthvika, who clinched the Senior Nationals at her home town Vijaywada in February last year, registered the biggest win of her budding career, when she bounced back from a 8-11 deficit to win 21-11, 22-20 in 36 minutes.

“I had never won a single game against her — forget about winning a match. It’s the most cherished win and I never expected this. These are tears of joy,” Ruthvika told PTI as she broke down in an emotional victory over Sindhu, who’s world No 12.

“We train together (at the Gopichand academy in Hyderabad) and know each other well. She’s amazing and is very strong physically but today I played better.”

Ranked 131 in the BWF World Rankings, Shivani aims to break into top five but for that it’s a long and gruelling road ahead.

f Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa overcame some hiccups against N Sikki Reddy and Maneesha Kukapalli before winning 21-9, 21-17.

Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Atri clinched the men’s doubles with a 21-18, 21-17 win over Akshay Dewalkar and Pranav Jerry Chopra, who had to be content with silver.

Chopra and Sikki Reddy won the mixed doubles gold, a seventh for India, after overcoming a strong challenge from Atri and Ashwini 30-29, 21-17.

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