P.V. Sindhu entered the arena with a purpose it seems because He Bingjiao who has a good H2H record against Sindhu looked no match this time around. After a humiliating defeat in the semifinals, it was important for her to not lose hope as a billion eyes were on her on Sunday. She didn’t disappoint as she became only the second Indian and first Indian female athlete to win 2 Olympic medals. She got the better of He Bingjiao in straight sets and put the disappointment of not being able to win the Gold behind her. She and her Korean coach Park were absolutely delightful after the win.
A lot was said about her fallout with P. Gopichand but she rose above all odds and became the 4th woman overall to win 2 Olympic medals in Women’s singles badminton. She outmaneuvered her opponent in no time as the scoreline ways 21-13, 21-15. She was seen in tears after the match as the disappointment of not being able to win the Gold could be seen in her eyes. However, a bronze nonetheless has finally got the Indian medal tally going as this was just the second medal for a country of 1.4 billion. In a dismal campaign, only 3 girls have stood up so far and a lot will be riding on the wrestlers as India has ended their challenge on most of the other sports.
It is now highly unlikely that we will surpass the London tally but Kamal Preet Kaur who was surprised in the qualification round has a chance to win a medal for India tomorrow. All eyes would be on her as tomorrow morning she can create history by winning a medal in a sport which is not just unpopular but a stereotype break for all the young girls out there. Vinesh Phogat remains the biggest medal hope as she is seeded number 1 in her category. The men’s Hockey team will be up against Britain and they also have the chance of creating history as Men’s team hasn’t entered the semifinals in the last 41 years. This is India’s best chance as they are favorites and momentum is also on their side.
I Hope Indian hockey finds its way back on track and India takes some momentum forward as the next Olympics is just 3 years away. A lot of changes have already been announced in the management and coaching staff of sports like shooting and table tennis. The turnaround time is less but at least if India could send an even larger contingent, it would itself be a victory for India.