P V Sindhu pens history, becomes first Indian to win gold in World Badminton Championship

P V Sindhu on Sunday became the first Indian to win badminton World Championships gold by beating familiar rival Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in a lop-sided final in Basel on Sunday.

At a time when there was not a single win this year for Indian shuttlers, barring the incredible feat of young men’s doubles shuttlers Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy at the Thailand Open early this month, Indian badminton was staring at many questions.

This silver lining was given in the form of India’s first ever badminton gold at the World Championships by Sindhu in her third final appearance in Basel on Sunday.

It was 2.37 pm Swiss local time Sunday, 6.07 pm IST, when Sindhu wrapped up the final against familiar foe Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara 21-7, 21-7.

The national anthem rang out and the Tricolour went up — but not before a little impromptu “Happy Birthday” rendition went around St Jakobshalle in Basel, with Sindhu dedicating her title to her mother P Vijaya, herself an accomplished volleyball player.

“I lost in the last two finals and this win was very important for me. I want to thank the crowd for supporting me every time,” Sindhu said after the match. “I won for my country and I am very proud to be an Indian.

“A big thanks to my coach Miss Kim and Gopi sir and the entire support staff. I also want to dedicate this to my parents and especially my mom, it’s her birthday today. So, happy birthday mom.”

It was Saina who was one of the first to congratulate her compatriot. “Congratulations to @Pvsindhu1 for the first ever world championships gold medal from India,” she tweeted.

Asked what this win would mean to India, the 24-year-old said: “I won this for my country. I am proud to be an Indian.” She added: “It was very special to see the Tricolour flying and to hear the national anthem. I was getting goosebumps.”