PV Sindhu vs Carolina Marin: Sindhu has beaten all the odds and put India in a position to win the gold medal in women’s badminton final at Rio Olympics 2016 today, but she will have to fight against the best player in the world and beat her at her own game to be able to crown herself the Olympic champion and bring glory to her country. Sindhu is already the pride of India having guaranteed herself a silver with her heroics at the semi-final stage, but for a nation thirsting for glory for so long, nothing except the best will do. PV Sindhu, in fact, will be going for gold and behind her, praying for her success will be the country’s 1.2 billion strong population. And facing her will be the World No. 1 Carolina Marin of Spain who has been supreme in all departments, thrashing everybody with her power play. She has emerged as a major force in the world of badminton and the best of the players in the sport have not been able to dislodge her from the top because of her dedication, strength and yes even ferociousness, to protect her position. Sindhu now has that job and on current (Olympic) form this promises to be one of the best rivalries that will be seen at Rio during the Olympic Games. (UPDATE: Match has been postponed to 8 pm. IST)
As Sindhu fights for gold today, her nation will be cheering her on. But more than outside help, Sindhu will be looking within for the strength to be able to implement her strategy and effect winners against Marin who has proved again and again why she is ranked as the world’s best. While Marin is the established champion, Sindhu is the up-coming star whose ambitions have no known borders. She wants to be the best and announce to the world that a new champion is rising who will bear no stopping. She has the superior game to prove it. And today she has the time and the perfect occasion to prove it. Her preparations have been perfect and in coach Gopichand, she has the perfect person to boost her spirit whenever she needs it. Her game is comprehensive and there is no real weakness that any one can really exploit. She has also acquired enough experience in her short career and is supremely fit to boot. The contest today will be massive, so keep glued to this space for updates.
PV Sindhu vs Carolina Marin blow-by-blow coverage – Women’s Badminton Final at Rio Olympics:
* On the Olympic podium minutes after the bout saw Japan’s Okuhara very happy to get the bronze; Sindhu is very happy too on getting her silver medal and shows it off to the Indian fans at the stadium; Carolina Marin is ecstatic to get gold! When it comes to the playing of national anthem, Marin breaks out into tears! Emotion finally breaks through for the Olympic champion.
* MARIN GETS GOLD, SINDHU SILVER; disappointment for Indian fans back at home; huge game, it was the best during the entire Olympics; Sindhu played well, but did not have the strategy to effect a fightback in a match that lasted 123 minutes; perhaps her stamina has something to do with it, she was not as quick to react to Marin attacks in the later stages of the match
* Sindhu displays great sportsman’s spirit, goes and hugs Carolina Marin!
* Marin lets out another ear-splitting scream in triumph, throws away her racket, drops to the ground on her haunches and leans forward to kiss the ground! Happy would not adequately describe her emotions!
PM Narendra Modi took to Twitter to post his reaction the game.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) August 19, 2016
* IT’S ALL OVER FOR SINDHU, MARIN WINS AFTER A LONG RALLY; Spain wins third game 21-15 and the match 2-1.
* Return is wide; SINDHU SAVES MATCH POINT; 5 match points still left
* MATCH POINT FOR MARIN; A good backhand at net gets her the point
* Just 2 points to win match for Marin
* SCore 19-14; Errors coming too fast from Sindhu
* Score 18-14; Marin is increasingly stronger; she looks to have greater stamina; Sindhu is slow to react at the moment
* Lead again widens, but Marin knows Sindhu can claw it back anytime
* Marin blasts a forehand winner! Amazing play by Spaniard; she did it amazingly, fooled Sindhu
* Score 16-14; Sindhu reduces the gap considerably; both girls know that this is the final stretch
* Marin is on an unbelievable roll in the match, but she gets too aggressive and powers the shuttle out of court; Sindhu exults
* Overhead down the line smash by Sindhu goes out; disappointment for Sindhu; score 16-12 against India; Sindhu looking very worried
* Sindhu must throw everything into the game now; the lead is already too big; does exactly that, wins a point through a long rally; Sindhu has nothing to lose; must show confidence in her abilities
* Marin effectively fights back down the line for a winner; score 15-11
* Sindhu must not let this lead build up; manages to claw back a valuable point; score 14-11
* Marin asks for review; shuttle on line; point goes against Sindhu
* Marin grabs a three point lead; break is hanging heavy on Sindhu; will she again come back strong; she needs to do that fast
* Shuttle not being allowed to be changed by Sindhu; Umpire agrees
* Marin comes back strong and wins first point; great play
* Another Gopichand booster shot required; This is it. No more returns possible; Sindhu must power her way through the battle of nerves
* But what a fightback by Sindhu! She must keep doing the good work!
* Too long a return, loses a significant point; Marin goes into mid-game break at 11-10!
* Girls need a breather; they have battled themselves into exhaustion
* An argument over shuttle change breaks out between players
* POINT! A huge rally, one of the longest and Sindhu gets back on parity; it lasted for 31 strokes. this is a great gold medal match
* Score 10-8; Sindhu is looking determined and wins a point; score 10-9! Is her confidence back up? SURELY IT IS!
* Sindhu loses point after she blasts shuttle too far out of court; Sindhu is matching Marin stroke for stroke
* NOW IT IS 9-8! Sindhu is fighting back effectively;
* Now it is 9-7; Sindhu has won 3 points at a stretch; INCREDIBLE PLAY!
* Sindhu wins 2 points; is this s turnaround in fortunes for Sindhu – Marin is ahead by 3 points now
* SCore now 9-4; Is this too big a lead? Not really; Sindhu won first game after taking 5 points at a stretch, she can do so again
* Marin comes back strong and pushes Sindhu back to win a fine point
* 7-4 Score; Sindhu manages to win back a few points, is not allowing Marin to run away with the game
* Marin looks to break Sindhu’s momentum, wastes time and gets warned by umpire; she again went to get towel without permission to waste time;
* Sindhu getting back into the game, reduces the gap to 6-3
* Another long rally and this ends in victory for Sindhu; it was more an error by Marin that got Sindhu the point than anything else
* Now it is 6-1! Sindhu unable to find the right shots; her confidence looks to have been sapped completely; Marin is superb and all over the court; Marin not allowing Sindhu to play any of her favourite strokes
* Marin is stamping her class on the game; she is proving why she is ranked as World No. 1; she has all the momentum on her side; Sindhu looking dejected
* Another point lost; score is 4-1 against Sindhu;
* Sindhu blasts shuttle into net, loses point; Sindhu must handle pressure better; in fat, handling big game pressure is crucial to win at this level
* POINT! Finally Sindhu effects a powerful winner to take next point; score 2-1
* Marin again wins a point; she is making it look to easy
* Game 3 starts; Marin wins first point; not an auspicious start for Sindhu; she must stop the Spaniard from again running away with the game
* Sindhu is complaining about something to the chair umpire; warnings are being given to the crowd at the stadium not to use flash in their cameras as they are distracting players, but whether this is what the Indian is complaining about is unknown
* Will Gopichand come up with the perfect strategy for PV Sindhu during the break; the time is now; he must get her to fightback effectively; huge number of Indians in the stands
* World No. 1 grabs good point, evens the match at 1 game apiece with a nice cross-court drop
* 20-12 score; Marin on verge of winning second game
* Sindhu wins a couple of points quickly
* The Indian fans are disappointed, but this set seems to be gone. Impossible to win? perhaps!
* 16-8 Score; Too big lead to get back; Sindhu is unwilling to fight back
* Another error by Sindhu; she is making it too easy for Marin, must not let her grab the initiative and create a momentum that she carries into the next game
* 15-1 score; The lead is not reducing for India; Sindhu must raise her play; or is she saving her energy for the third set now?
* Sindhu gets her defensive play in action, manages to hold back Marin’s attacking play and wins a point
* However, the very next point at the net goes to Marin. This is a surprise
* After referral, Sindhu wins a point; score 6-13 against India
* Gopichand has been talking non-stop; wonder what he is doing. Praying?
* Marin is screaming at herself to improve; Sindhu is determined but is not showing the same kind of animated behaviour
* 12-4 score; The initiative is being grabbed and given up by both girls, the exchanges are getting fast and furious
* Marin steps up the attack in this point and manages to win a point
* Sindhu wins first point after break; adds another one; the break has proved to be good for Sindhu
* A huge gap has opened up between both the players; Sindhu would be looking for fresh ideas, perhaps a new strategy;
* 11-2 score; Marin is supreme; she is playing magnificent game, pushing Sindhu back ad forth across the court with ease, break in game on right now
* 10-2 score; Marin eyeing a huge lead now; looking to run away with the second game; will Sindhu be conjure up another reversal in fortunes?
* Sindhu must be hoping the break comes soon as she will have the respite to think up a fresh way to attack Marin
* However, a bit of impatience by Sindhu causes her to lose another easy point
* Sindhu plays a slower game, manages to win a point – 6-2
* 6-1 score; Marin is running away with the game; Sindhu needs to figure out a way through this one-way traffic
* Marin wins another point with superb placement
* Finally, Sindhu gets one back; score 4-1 against India
* Marin wins another 2 points with her power play; Sindhu is still waiting to get her first point
* Next game starts; Marin grabs 2 points quickly; Sindhu needs to get her game back fast;
* Sindhu won 5 points at a stretch to win the game
* SINDHU REELS OFF POINT AFTER POINT TO WIN THE FIRST GAME 21-19; huge U-turn in fortunes
* GAME POINT SINDHU! 20-19; The girl has pulled back the game in her favour
* Sindhu wins ANOTHER POINTS, RESTORES PARITY 19-19
* Close Net play comes to Sindhu’s rescue as she wins a point after Marin blasts into net
* 19-16 Score; Sindhu is gasping for breath, is she tired; she lost an easy point
* 18-16 now; Marin again increases the tempo of the game, wins points; i between referee warns players not to take too long between points
* A HUGE 52 STROKE RALLY GOES IN FAVOUR OF SINDHU! Massive point. Sindhu trails 17-16 now
* Marin win back a point and re-establishes a a more comfortable lead
* PV Sindhu effects another massive player, claws back to 15-16; amazing play by Sindhu; why is she not being able to maintain this high level of play through the match is unclear
* However, Marin effects a quick counter-attack of her own and wins another point.
* Score now 15-13 as Sindhu pulls back a few quick points with surprising attack against Marin; must keep this strategy going
* Score 15-11; Sindhu has not allowed Marin to build too big a lead, but if the game goes on like this, the Spaniard will easily coast to victory
* Sindhu looks to be slow; is there a problem; she was swift against the Japanese opponent yesterday, but today she is not showing the same speed; is she holding back to make a charge later?
* Finally, Sindhu gets a few long rallies going and pulls back a few points; score 10-13 for Marin
* The break does not bring any cheer to Sindhu as Marin keeps on winning more points than she is losing; The Spaniard is grabbing easy points and Sindhu is unable to stop that
* Marin now leads 12-6
* Coach Gopichand must put the spark back in Sindhu’s play; they will have had a strategy worked out for this surely; they need to get back to winning some points quickly
* Girls go into game break with Sindhu trailing badly at 6-11
* PV Sindhu vs Carolina Marin LIVE 6-10
* 5-8; Indian girl is finally getting the better of the exchanges and gets a point, but trails badly; she will have to get back and get back fast, no use in trying to play a defensive game that Sindhu is increasingly showing
* PV Sindhu vs Carolina Marin LIVE score 7-3
* However, Marin is playing a power game, manages to get back control immediately and secures point for herself. grabs another
* Sindhu loses another point before she manages to score one against run of play; 5-3
* Marin controls point and takes full advantage gets 2-pt lead; score 4-2
* Both girls playing attacking game
* Sindhu plays one out, lets Marin back; Marin grabs another point, now leads 3-2
* Sindhu gets another point – 2-1
* Sindhu fights back to grab the next
* Match starts, first point goes to Marin
* Sindhu and Marin now on court – match to start soon.
* Sindhu-Marin match has been postponed by at least an hour. Likely start at 7.30 pm.
* The match between Sindhu and Marin is expected to start at 18:55 hrs (6.55 p.m.) India time (IST) – 10.25 a.m. local time (Rio), and 3.25 p.m. CET.