PV Sindhu vs Nozomi Okuhara at Rio Olympics: In a sensational match played by PV Sindhu, the Indian girl created history by outplaying her Japanese counterpart Okuhara to effect the kind of sensational victory that only dreams can be made of.
PV Sindhu vs Nozomi Okuhara at Rio Olympics: In a sensational match played by PV Sindhu, the Indian girl created history by outplaying her Japanese counterpart Okuhara to effect the kind of sensational victory that only dreams can be made of. This win came in the face of three straight losses against Okuhara and puts in perspective the Indian win and its enormity. With coach Gopichand on the sidelines to guide her through the tense match, Sindhu kept total control throughout the duel and did not allow Okuhara to ever establish a lead, leave alone take control of the match. The 5 ft 10 inch tall Sindhu is the first Indian player to enter the badminton Olympics final (Saina had not reached that stage last time round).
It is being reported that Sindhu’s mother had already predicted that her daughter would play against Marin in the Olympics final and that is the way it turned out! After the historic win, her father is saying that if she keeps on playing the way she is doing now, then the the gold medal is hers for the taking. He added that he will go to temple first thing in the morning. Says Sindhu has made the entire country proud! Thanks one and all involved in making her journey successful. Sindhu’s mother has dedicated the win to her coach Gopi.
On his part, a serious-looking coach Gopichand, at a post-match media meet in Rio said it was courtesy Sindhu’s great mental ability and strength that she was able to win. He added that Sindhu being tall and willing to use the smash was a good strategy to employ. He said he does not want to show too much emotion as she still has to play tomorrow, although he said that he is really ‘very happy’ about this great win.
President of India Pranab Mukherjee has posted this congratulatory tweet:
— President of India (@RashtrapatiBhvn) August 18, 2016
This was one of the best matches for Sindhu as it showed her at her best. Whatever the Japanese girl threw at her, she had a ready strategy and an effective counter-attack. Not just that, Sindhu implemented her own attacking strategy that allowed no respite to the Japanese girl. She barely left any breathing space for her opponent. In fact, Sindhu was at her ruthless best in the entire tie. She knew that Okuhara was injured and deliberately kept hitting the shuttle into the corners and then dropping it short to make her stretch virtually to breaking point. The strategy was extremely successful as Sindhu virtually ran away with the second set.
Read full story: PV Sindhu creates history, enters women’s Olympics final
PM Narendra Modi took to Twitter to post his reaction to Sindhu winning her semi-final:
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 18, 2016
The match started with an unusually serious Sindhu striding onto the court purposefully. She got into the match immediately in the same vein. Considering that a place in the Olympics badminton final was at stake, showing no mercy to her Japanese opponent she reeled off the points steadily and did not allow her back into the match, except for a couple of moments during the two sets.
Now, Sindhu is guaranteed a silver medal as she has reached the final, but more than that, she stands a chance to win the gold medal itself and the only thing standing between that and her is the Spanish girl Marin. And, on current play, and considering Marin’s weakness at the net, Sindhu has a big advantage and she has a great chance to win that too!
Olympics Badminton: PV Sindhu vs Nozomi Okuhara blow-by-blow coverage:
* India’s Golden Girl keeps Nation’s Dream for Gold Medal Alive!
* Great mobility, very aggressive, amazing stuff from Sindhu!
* Okuhara may not be able to play in bronze medal match due to leg injury, it has just been revealed.
* CONGRATULATIONS Sindhu, great play! Sindhu in Women’s Badminton FINAL!
* POINT! SINDHU WINS 21-10, enters FINAL, to face SPain’s Marin!
* MATCH POINT! 20-10! SIndhu is SUPREME! GREAT SUPREMACY OVER RIVAL! SHE HAS TOTALLY OBLITERATED HER RIVAL’S MIND
* 18-10! Okuhara is leaking points by barely fighting back; Sindhu makes it 19-10
* One more point for Sindhu! Amazing game being played by Sindhu. Amazing to watch her superiority over her rival.
* Sindhu keeps her strong power play going, snatches another 2 points as Okuhara returns are tame
* The girls return to play and immediately Sindhu wins the first two points, increases her lead magically; 13-10
* Sindhu goes into mid-game break ahead by 11-10 as Okuhara reads a long shot wrong. She lets it go only to find to her horror that t landed inside the court! Great misjudgment by the Japanese girl
* Again both girls are fighting hammer and tongs, with teh shuttle flying hard and fast; score 10-10
* Sindhu uses her long reach to slot the shuttle next to the net, which is just out of the reach of a stretching Okuhara. Sindhu playing intelligent game, using her height to great advantage, now leads 9-8.
* Okuhara refusing to slow down the tempo, leads 8-7
* Okuhara comes back strong pushes Sindhu back
* It was only when Sindhu managed to smash successfully did Okuhara give up a point – 7-6
* But Sindhu gives away an easy point to Oukhara in the very next rally. She must settle down. Is getting too worked up.
* SMASH! Sindhu blasts away at the Japanese girl to restore parity! Great play
* Okuhara keeps the momentum, snatches the lead at 5-3 before Sindhu snatches apoint!
* Okuhara battles back to 3-3 knowing she cannot allow Sindhu to take a big lead;
* It took the longest rally of the match for Okuhara to snatch a point from Sindhu as the Indian girl overhit; 3-1.
* GREAT start by Indian in second set, wins 2 points at a stretch right in the beginning; even takes the third point! Amazing play, very confident!
* POINT! Sindhu wins crucial point to take first set. Great play! Sindhu managed to keep the shuttle in play even as teh aggressive Japanese girl sought to wear down the Indian girl. Winner at 21-19! Sindhu wins the first game after Okuhara makes a mistake and smashes the shuttle into the net. Totally unforced error that the Japanese girl instantly recognised as she fell on her haunches and remained there for a minute or so.
* Okuhara saves one game point; 20-19
* Sindhu gets 2 set points – 20-18.
* Both girls thrash away at the shuttle and look to eke out points as the set nears end; 19-18
* The Japanese girl is not giving away any easy points; Sindhu is not managing to extend her lead; in fact, Sindhu losing her 2-pt advantage; score 18-17
* Sindhu lucky to get a couple of points as Okuhara makes unforced errors; score 18-15
* Sindhu is also trying to get Okuhara to stretch right leg as much as possible; reason being that the Japanese girl has the leg strapped tightly; there is an injury there and may be a weakness that the Indian may exploit.
* Sindhu again extends the lead as she powers some very effective shots; she is shunning net play and preferring to go long; also trying to keep rallies short
* Having said that, Okuhara manages to effect a fightback; the rallies are turning longer and she has reduced the margin to 12-10
* Sindhu reels of another point as she keeps Okuhara running all over the court and then makes a drop shot from near net that the Japanese girl had to dive to get, but all to no avail. Sindhu supreme at the moment.
* Sindhu leads 11-6 as the players go into mid-set break. Coach Gopichand cautions her against Okuhara’s drop shots; Sindhu is managing to stretch the Japanese girl who is not being able to return the shots that are near the lines.
* Okuhara keeps trying to go to the edges of court, but Sindhu has height advantage; one of the longest rallies ends in a point for the Indian; Score 6-9
*Japanese girl starts to get her returns in areas where Sindhu is out of reach; grabs a fine point;
*Amazing string of points won by Sindhu; she is smashing and stroking her way to each and every point; denying the Japanese girl a point; score 8-5
*Sindhu and Okuhara smash their way to points alternatively; neither girl gives an inch; Indian has edge; score 6-4
* Sindhu reels off 3 consecutive points thereafter! Very strong show. The last point came courtesy a referral that the Indian called for and won
*Sindhu loses first point as Japanese girl powers a shot
*Sindhu has however, lost to her Japanese rival 3 times in a row
* PV Sindhu has the height advantage; if she can put that strategy into effect, it will get her to win many crucial points
* Both players now on court; warming up
* Good wishes are pouring in from all quarters for PV Sindhu. Cricketer Gautam Gambhir posted this on Twitter:
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) August 18, 2016
Wrestling (Women) Freestyle 53kg (Qualification & Finals) – 19:10 hrs onwards:
After Sakshi Malik on Wednesday, will it be Babita Kumari on Thursday? The Indian wrestler, who has won the 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medal will look to improve on what Sakshi did and get better than a bronze. Earlier it was reported the match would start at 18:30 hrs.
Babita Kumari of Bhiwani, who booked her place at Rio Olympics after Mongolian wrestler Sumiya Erdenechimeg failed the dope test at an event at an international qualifying event (Sumiya had defeated her at the Asian Olympic qualifier), is placed in the women’s 53kg freestyle category. Babita is the cousin of Vinesh Phogat who had such a horrifying time during her bout yesterday. While that must have been a horrendous experience for Babita, she must not let it play on her mind and instead focus on her own game today.
Babita Kumari, 26, also comes off a Zika virus scare last week after she developed high fever at the Olympic Games Village in Rio. But that possibility was quickly quashed by doctors and Babita was back to training. Hopefully, that break in schedule would not have hurt her preparations.
Babita Kumari vs Greece’s Maria Prevolaraki: Blow by blow account
* Babita loses a point early after being pushed out of the mat by the Greek player’s power play.
* Babita must come back strong
* However, the Greek manages to effect another strong move and throws Babita to the ground; wins another 2 pts.
* Finally, Babita snatches a point as she denies the Greek girl during the power-play time
* But Babita goes on the attack, but messes up her move and ends up on the mat; score 5-1
* The Greek player does not allow any further chances to Babita, plays out an effective defensive strategy
* The bout ends in disaster for India, Babita loses easily 5-1
* However, as with Sakshi Malik yesterday, Babita has a chance at the Bronze medal playoff. All hope not lost yet!
* Babita did try and manage to get a leg hold, but it did not materialise into points.
* Will it happen? Keep glued to this space for updates.
* Read Full Story: Babita Kumari loses to Greek Opponent
Olympics Athletics – 20:10 hrs: Men’s 4×100 Relay heats. 20:30 hrs: Men’s 400 m Hurdles final today. But all eyes will again be on the fastest man in the world Usain Bolt as he looks to cement his name in historical records with another unforgettable run. Bolt and his Jamaican teammates will take to the field today in Men’s 4×100 Relay.
Olympics Golf (Women) – 16:00 hrs: The first Indian to take to the Olympic Games arenas will be Aditi Ashok. The golfer is ranked 56th, but is expected to do do much, much better than her rankings signify.
Olympics Hockey (Men’s Final) 01:30 hrs: Indian hockey may not have covered itself with glory at the Rio Olympic Games, but the fans of the game should not miss the final – it promises to be a humdinger! Belgium has come from nowhere into the final and Argentina too is not known to threaten to disturb the history books when this game is considered, but there you have it! Two contrasting teams and any one can win. It is the FINAL!