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PV Sindhu Is First-Ever Indian to Become Badminton World Champion

“Finally, I’ve become national, sorry, world champion!”

by Pallavi Pundir
26 August 2019, 8:19am

India's Pusarla V. Sindhu celebrates winning her quarter final women's singles match against Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying, at 2019 Badminton World Championships at St. Jakobshalle Basel, Switzerland, on August 23, 2019. Photo: REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

On the evening (Indian Standard Time) of August 25, Hyderabad-based PV Sindhu made history after winning gold at the BWF Badminton World Championships, becoming the first Indian ever to do so. At the event hosted in Basel, Switzerland, the 24-year-old beat Japanese shuttler Nozomi Okuhara. Incidentally, Okuhara had won the world championship in Glasgow, Scotland, in 2017, after defeating Sindhu in the finals. However, on Sunday, Sindhu made the smashing win in just 38 minutes, wrapping up the championship with 21-7, 21-7.

Sindhu also won two bronzes and two silvers before the gold hit, and with this, she is now on par with Chinese star, Zhang Ning, for the most number of podiums by women’s singles player: five. Sindhu's gold is the second medal that India won at the Worlds this year, with Sai Praneeth winning a bronze in men's singles category (a first since veteran badminton player Prakash Padukone won a medal in 1983).

Later in the day, after her win, Sindhu addressed the media and said, “I can finally say, finally. I’ve waited for this victory for a long time and finally, I’ve become national, sorry, world champion!”

She added, "I was expecting this for a very long time now. Now I have got it so I have to enjoy it. I have to feel it. It made me really special when the national flag was raised and the national anthem was playing. I had goosebumps at that moment. It was a very proud moment for me.”

The whole world, especially the Indian community, leaders and the sports fraternity, has come together on social media to congratulate Sindhu’s historic win.

Before this, Sindhu has won Olympic silver in 2016 Rio Games, a silver in Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, silver at the Asian Games in Jakarta and another silver at the BWF World Tour last year. With this win, Sindhu joins the league of world champions from India, from Mary Kom to Hima Das.

Follow Pallavi Pundir on Twitter.