Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu has beaten Japan's Nozomi Okuhara to make a smashing and historic entry into the badminton finals of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
After beating Okuhara (21-19, 21-10), the 21-year-old Hyderabadi becomes the first Indian to gain an Olympics final spot in Badminton.
On Friday, ninth-seeded Sindhu will meet Spain's Carolina Marin for the title clash at 7:30 pm India time. Marin is currently the world No. 1. Sindhu had defeated world No. 2 Wang Yihan of China in the quarter-final.
With her impressive feat today, now has a shot at gold, but has assured a medal-starved India of at least a silver. "My target is gold, promise to play my heart out," Sindhu told NDTV after the match.
"Last few days reminded me of my Olympic days. Was not able to sleep," her coach Pullela Gopichand said. "Carolina Marin is a world champion, let us not underestimate her," Sindhu's father toldIndia Today.
Wrestler Sakshi Malik's bronze is India's only medal so far in what has been a disappointing Olympics campaign for the nation. In the 2012 London Olympics,Nehwal won the Bronze after her Chinese opponent Xin Wang withdrew with injury.
"The biggest dream I am chasing now is an Olympic medal. I remember watching Saina in London. Then I was ranked World No. 25. I always longed to be there and I am all excited to represent India in Rio," Sindhu had said before leaving for Rio.
While news of Malik's victory broken in the predawn hours of Thursday, Sindhu's news came in the evening, setting off a flood of messages on Twitter. Prime Minister Narendra Modi called it a "superb performance."
Bollywood superstar Amitabh Bachchan called her the "pride of India."
T 2352 - Never ever underestimate power of female gender ! #PVSindhu you have destroyed so many 'naysayers' .. you are the PRIDE of INDIA !— Amitabh Bachchan (@SrBachchan) August 18, 2016
Film actress Anushka Sharma summed up the day.
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