P.V. Sindhu’s gallant effort to become India’s first ever World Champion ended in a heart- wrenching defeat against Nozomi Okuhara in an epic final, here on Sunday.
In a nerve-wracking final, which tested the physical and mental strength of both the players, Sindhu lost 19-21 22-20 20-22 after battling hard for one hour and 49 minutes.
Their bodies falling apart as the match progressed but both Sindhu and Okuhara used every ounce of energy left with them to make it an epic contest.
After closing the second game by winning an incredible 73-shot rally, Sindhu saved one championship point in the decider but it was the Japanese who had the last laugh.
Nevertheless, Sindhu fought like a true champion and kept her promise that she would strive to change the colour of her medal, having won two bronze from past editions. Although she would have hoped for a gold, which no Indian has even won at the World Championship.
For India, it still was a historic edition since for the first time country’s shuttler are returning with two medals.
Saina Nehwal had won a bronze yesterday after losing her semifinal.
The results: Women: Singles: Final: Nozomi Okuhara (Jpn) bt P.V. Sindhu 21-19, 20-22, 22-20. Semifinals: Sindhu bt Chen Yufei of China 21-13, 21-10.
Doubles: Final: Chen Qingchen & Jia Yifan (Chn) bt Yuki Fukushima & Sayaka Hirota (Jpn) 21-18, 17-21, 21-15.