Sindhu fails to clear final test

Sindhu fails to clear final test

Indian settles for silver after Spaniard Marin shows great grit to score a come-from-behind victory

Sindhu fails to clear final test

 In the end, it took the class of Carolina Marin to halt a charging Indian express called P V Sindhu.

In the gold medal match of the women’s singles in badminton, Sindhu, as promised, played her heart out, but Marin proved too crafty an opponent, winning 19-21, 21-12, 21-15 to underline her status as the best woman player in the world.

“I am proud of the way I fought but it was her day and she was better today,” said the 21-year-old Sindhu, who becomes the 14th sportsperson from independent India to win an Olympic medal.

It did seem for a while that the colour of her medal would be golden, as Sindhu fought back superbly to cash in on Marin’s errors in the first game. The Spainiard, who led all the way till 19-18, lost focus for a brief while and the Indian grabbed the opportunity to score four points in a row to take the first game.

Sindhu, who relishes long rallies, was not allowed to play her normal game by Marin. The Spaniard kept the rallies short, finishing off the points quickly to stay ahead from the start. A tense Sindhu trailed 6-12 at one point but the Indian refused to give up, with her coach Pullela Gopichand egging her on from the sidelines.

Fighting her way back, Sindhu drew confidence from winning a 52-stroke rally that enabled her to close the gap at 16-17. Marin then lapsed into errors, netting a couple of strokes and sending a return wide as Sindhu caught up at 19 and quickly wrapped up the next two points to win the first game in 27 minutes.

The loss of the first game simply fired up Marin. The world number one was all aggression in the second game while Sindhu seemed to have relaxed just a wee bit at the start. Marin raced away to a 11-2 lead, rattling Sindhu. She did try to stay in the points but was kept on a tight leash by Marin, whose net play, steep drops and smashes found no answer from the Indian as she conceded the game in 23 minutes.

Summoning all her resolve, Sindhu tried hard to arrest the slide in the decider but mounting pressure forced her into mistakes. Drawing level at 10-10, Sindhu eyed a revival. Marin quickly stamped that out, surging ahead to 16-12. The match was as good as over by this point and though Sindhu did win three more points, Marin’s dominance was clear-cut. She set up match point with a brilliant cross court smash and scripted the winning moment with a drop that Sindhu barely reached.

It was a time for tears as both players slumped to the ground, one in celebration and the other in utter dejection. Consoled by Gopi, Sindhu was graceful in defeat. It was Marin’s moment but the way she has played here, Sindhu certainly will have her time in the sun, sooner rather than later.
Result: Women’s singles final: Carolina Marin (Spain) bt P V Sindhu (India) 21-19, 21-21, 21-15.
 

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