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Sindhu wins Korea Open title


Indian star shuttler P.V. Sindhu overcame reigning world champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 in the women’s singles final of the Korea Open Superseries here on Sunday.

The Rio Olympic silver medallist Sindhu won in an hour and 24 minutes at the SK Handball Stadium. It was the 22-year-old’s third Superseries title of her career.

Okuhara had conquered the Hyderabadi in the World Championships final in August in Glasgow.

After the August 27 win, the Rio Olympic bronze medallist Okuhara, 22, had taken a 4-3 lead in career meetings against Sindhu.

But in this South Korean capital, Sindhu was presented a chance to avenge the Glasgow loss –and the Indian came out on top.Sindhu

Sindhu started the game brightly, holding a 5-2 lead early in the first game. Okuhara fought back and equalized at the seven-point mark, firing some delectable drop shots. Sindhu, however, held a two-point lead at the mid-game break.

Later, Okuhara grabbed four consecutive points to take a 13-12 lead. But Sindhu ended the momentum with a crisp winner. She then matched Okuhara shots for shots and didn’t allow the Japanese to dictate th e pace of the game.

Even though Okuhara tried to play long rallies, Sindhu was smart enough to not give her much space to go for aggressive strokes.

Sindhu held a 19-17 lead and it became 20-18. Okuhara managed to save two game points as she equalized 20-all. Sindhu then stamped her authority with two shots which Okuhara failed to defend as the Indian clinched the first game 22-20.

In the second game, Okuhara stepped up her game and went for the attack straightaway. She opened up an 11-6 handsome lead.

Okuhara likes to move the shuttle quicker than Sindhu and the Japanese’s sharp game forced the Indian on the backfoot. Okuhara won the second game in a flash, with a scoreline of 21-11.

In the decider, Sindhu started on a strong note, holding an 8-4 lead early. She mixed aggressive smashes with cunning net-game which rattled the Japanese, who was forced to trail throughout the match.

A six-point advantage for Sindhu at the mid-game break meant Okuhara was left with a mountain to climb. Okuhara tried her best but Sindhu continued to pick points to keep the Japanse at bay.

An 18-14 lead seemed to be healthy for Sindhu but a feisty Okuhara didn’t allow the Indian to roll to the title. Okuhara then managed to save two match points. But eventually Sindhu remained calm and composed to seal a 21-18 win to bag the title.

Meanwhile, unseeded Indonesian Anthony Sinisuka Ginting defeated compatriot Jonatan Christie 21-13, 19-21, 22-20 in an hour and eight minutes to clinch the men’s title.

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Prakash is right, Sindhu show the best ever by an Indian athlete


One is used to seeing more than one Chinese on a badminton podium, not two Indians receiving medals at a major event, as happened at the Glasgow World Championships. A moment of goosebumps, indeed!

The true sports lovers forgot that Pusarla Venkata Sindhu missed gold or Saina Nehwal at least silver as both looked very much on the cards. Both played to their potential and if Saina appeared running out of fuel in the decider in the semi-final against the eventual gold claimant Nozomi Okuhara, Sindhu and the determined Japanese expended the last ounces of their energy before settling for the hue of the medal.

Some have called Sindhu a choker, a la South African cricketers, pointing to the Hyderabadi losing two major finals, at the Rio Olympic Games to Carolina Marin and to Okuhara at the Worlds.

One can understand if Sindhu had lost to the same opponent twice at majors or if she had not beaten either Marin or Okuhara before or since the majors. Her record against the two in Superseries events, no less major, only show that there is little to choose between them.

The one argument advanced by those who think Sindhu has choked is that eventually only the winners are remembered, not even if the loser takes the match to the wire. For them winning is all that matters.

Yes, a champion athlete has to have nerves of steel and exhibit them everytime he or she goes out to perform. Yes, they can’t be champions if they don’t have killer instinct. Sindhu put her match in perspective, “I fought hard, but it was not my day. Both of us were tired.”

Do you call a 21-19, 20-22, 22-20, scoreline choking? Does that mean Okuhara choked to lose the second game? A mere two points separated the winner and the loser. Sometimes a netcord goes your way at a crucial stage and on another occasion you are at the receiving end.

Just watch the match once again and you will agree with the great Prakash Padukone, “this is the best ever performance by any Indian athlete.” Also, see how well both picked some impossible shuttles from every nook and corner of the court. Yes, one can say the Indian could have been a little more attacking at some stages, but it is easier to think like that sitting out.

There was a time we all used to be so happy watching a Nandu Natekar, Trilok Nath Seth, Dinesh Khanna, Suresh Goel play so beautifully. When Khanna won the Asian badminton title in Lucknow we thought we are not of world badminton.

Those were the days when not only the best Asians but also the Danes, the best in Europe, used to give anything to come and play on the Indian circuit just as the tennis players from around the world.

Padukone, Syed Modi and Pullela Gopichand took badminton to a different level. Likewise, Meena Shah, Damayanti Tambay, nee Subedar, Ami Ghia, Madhumita Bisht, nee Goswami, Aparna Popat, all national champions multiple times, were the best since they also performed reasonably well to pull off an odd upset at the international stage.

Those were the decades the national sports federations used to be run from a briefcase or from the office of an influential politician, a bureaucrat or a businessman. Things started happening only after the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games with most federations getting office premises at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and also space for training and accommodation.

That’s gone after the 2010 Commonwealth Games as the government wanted the federations to pay Rs 200 per square-foot space at the renovated Nehru Stadium! They are all scattered paying Rs 60,000 for a thousand square feet area in West Delhi. Federations have started fending for themselves.

Luckily, the infrastructure created for the Commonwealth Games in Delhi and the National Games in various state capitals are coming in use. Unlike many others, Gopichand has created a ultra-modern badminton facility in upmarket Hyderabad and that has become the nerve centre for training of Indian players.

Things have come a long way and even sportspersons are putting in their effort. Sindhu is right. Soon there will be more Sainas and Sindhus and that will make India a major badminton centre, if it is not already one.

Gone are the days when a Prakash Padukone had to settle down in Denmark to train to be a champion or others who struggled for international exposure. There has been a steady upsurge both in facilities as well as in the motivational approach of young men and women.

No wonder Indian badminton players are going places.

Waiting for someone to pipe up and say nothing has happened to our sports in the last 60 years.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Jagan slams Naidu for anti-farmer attitude


Andhra Pradesh Leader of the Opposition and YSR Congress Party chief YS Jagan Mohan Reddy said the state government is least bothered about farmers’ problems. He critiqued that the government is not as demonstrative towards farmers as it is towards Badminton Player P V Sindhu. He said there is nothing wrong in supporting a sportsperson.

The legislative assembly made an amendment to give special permission for the appointment of Olympic silver medalist Sindhu as sub-collector. Finance Minister Yanamala Ramakrishnudu on Tuesday announced ace Badminton player Sindhu as Deputy Collector under the AP Public Service Commission (APPSC) Act.

Jagan said farmers are committing suicides as they are not getting fair price. He questioned “why is the government overlooking farmers’ problems?” He further said that so far only Rs 2 crore has been released for Chilli purchase and from Tuesday the government announced holidays to the market yard. The YCP Chief deplored that the state government is least bothered to pay intervention price of Rs 5,000 announced by center to Chilli farmers. Furthermore, he said that the government is discarding the idea of price fixation fund which was proposed to be set up with Rs 5,000 crore. Jagan critiqued the Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu for his anti-farmer behavior.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



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