PV Sindhu vs Carolina Marin Highlights: In one of the best matches across all sporting events at Rio Olympics, India’s P V Sindhu staged the best fight of her life against the might of World No. 1 Carolina Marin, but could not manage to defeat her, even though she snatched a face-saver game in a stunning manner that left the Spanish player dazed and confused. The women’s badminton final at the Rio Olympics 2016 was of such high intensity that almost halfway into the third game of the match and yet there were no clear indications who would be crowned queen of badminton in the Brazilian capital. However, it was not to be and Sindhu settled for a a silver medal today. There were a lot of turns in the match and the momentum shifted a few times in each player’s favour, but Marin managed to make it stick with her in the later stages of the third game and she emerged champion. While Sindhu lost this crucial match, she managed to keep the Indian flag flying high, making the nation proud with her willingness to fight to the last. Check out the highlights of this amazing match that ended 21-19, 12-21, 15-21 in Spain’s favour after 83 minutes of superb play:
The 21-year-old PV Sindhu had acquired great momentum and arrived in the final with a lot of expectations riding on her shoulders -in fact the entire nation was expecting her to go better and deliver a gold rather than settling for a silver. She made a mammoth effort right from the first point itself even though the pressure on her was huge. Sindhu is now the fourth Indian to win a silver at the Olympics after shooters Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (2004, Athens) and Vijay Kumar (2012, London) and wrestler Sushil Kumar (2012, London) as well as the fifth woman player from India to win a medal in Olympics history and the first to bag a silver. Over and above that, Sindhu has become the youngest Indian to win a medal at the Olympics.
The amazing fact was that in the first game Sindhu was trailing 16-19 and looking at losing it easily, but she fought back strongly to reel off as many as 5 points at a stretch to snatch it away from the stunned Spaniard, who at that point in time was looking very strong indeed.
In the third game, Sindhu was again behind at 1-6 initially and yet she again blasted her way back into reckoning to restore parity at 10-10! But that is where Sindhu’s fightback ended and she could not stop the rampaging Marin from racing towards an eventual triumph.
What was really working for Carolina Marin was her aggression as well as her pin-point accuracy down the line even though she used to float long often to give away easy points. This power play was important in winning the Spaniard some massively crucial points during the match.
In the first game, Marin had built a big 11-8 lead going into game-break and then kept on blasting winners to reach 15-11 and that too playing close at the net, which is not her strength. Sindhu could not put away these easy points. But in this game it did not matter as Sindhu narrowed the big gap to 15-17.
Sindhu then started playing to her own strengths and that was to force the match into long rallies,which Marin did not handle very well. In fact, almost all long rallies ended with Sindhu winning the point! The gap by then was 18-16. And then it became 19-16 and everybody assumed that the game would now be easily pocketed by the Spaniard.
But that was not the way it panned out as Sindhu forced the rampaging Spaniard back. Marin made some big errors floating the shuttle wide and then gave up the ghost at another net duel! By the time these exchanges ended, Sindhu was very much back in the game at 19-19!
Sindhu did not let Marin catch her breath and powered to a lead by forcing Marin to hit the net. Sindhu then played some intelligent points. First she pushed Marin back to the edge of the court and the Spaniard failed to adequately deal with a return. 5 points came in a rush and Sindhu greeted the first game triumph with a huge scream!
A stunned Marin came back very strong and raced to a mammoth 4-0 lead in the next game. Marin did not allow Sindhu to play to her strengths at all. She did not allow herself to get entangled in long rallies either, nor did she allow close-to-net play, both of which are her weaknesses. And Sindhu was not able to stop her opponent. Marin led 11-2 in quick time.
After the game-break, Sindhu was coached about her strategy by Gopichand and it was evident immediately that the break was working in her favour as she won a few points. But Marin was not allowing her to win too many points at a go. Marin led 17-9 and this time, Sindhu was not looking to waste her energy on a fightback. She was looking to save it for the third game instead!
With not much of a fight coming from the Indian girl, Marin started smashing the shuttle and winning the points. So, even from the baseline Marin managed to effect smashing winners to reach 19-12. She sealed the game in her favour with a drop to the forecourt.
Unfortunately, with Sindhu allowing Marin to race away with the second game, it also gave the Spaniard a huge momentum going into the third and deciding game. Marin dominated almost every rally now and forced Sindhu to get too defensive! Before Sindhu realised, she was behind 6-1!
The fightback from Sindhu came, but it was an act of desperation where anything could have happened. Sindhu did get some points and even managed to restore parity at 10-10. This gave hope to all her fans that another effective attacking display of badminton was coming from the Indian. Among the standout points she managed to pocket were from a down-the-line smash, over-the-head backhand flick and cross-court return. But, it was Marin who was leading with another good point as the players entered the last game-break at 11-10.
Sindhu by now knew that she had to do something really big to knock out Marin as otherwise there was no stopping her. But the break went in Marin’s favour as she reeled off point after point to reach 14-10. It was then Sindhu’s turn to blast the winners and she cut the lead to 14-16, but these came more from errors by her opponent than her own power play.
Sindhu was not able to start another recovery to stop Marin. Instead, she allowed the Spaniard to go on a huge streak that put her on match-point at 20-14! While Sindhu saved one match point, there were too many others to battle and on the second one, Marin smashed the shuttle hard at the Indian and she failed to return. Marin screamed her exultation. While Marin won the gold, Sindhu got silver and Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara bagged the bronze medal.