Shuttler Sindhu beats Olympic champion
By N Jagannath Das | Published: 15th September 2012 10:33 AM |
She is already being touted as the next Saina Nehwal.
Eighteen-year- old shuttler Pusarla Venkata Sindhu enhanced her reputation on Friday when she stunned London Olympics gold medallist Li Xuerui of China 21-19, 9-21, 21-16 in a 45-minute contest in the women’s singles quarter-finals at China Masters Super Series badminton tournament.
With this big victory, Sindhu is on the footsteps of Saina, who had beaten Xuerui in the Indonesian Open Super Series final in June earlier this year.
Incidentally, Saina pulled out of the China Super Series because of an injury on her left knee. In her absence, Sindhu and Parupalli Kashyap were the big tickets from India.
While Kashyap crashed out to fellow Indian and Hyderabadi Gurusai Dutt on Thursday, Sindhu withstood the odds and stopped the more fancied Xuerui in her tracks.
Her father PV Ramana, a member of the Indian team that won the bronze in the 1986 Asian Games at Seoul, was ecstatic.
“To beat an Olympic champion and player like Xuerui in her own den is a fantastic achievement,” he said.
Former national coach Syed Mohammad Arif said winning against a player like Xuerui is no joke. “This girl will be an asset like Saina to Indian badminton,” he said.
Sindhu had become the first Indian girl to win the junior Asian Badminton Championship in July this year. Currently ranked 24th in the world, she has been fielded in this tournament for an exposure against bigtime players. She faces world number nine Jiang Yanjiao, who is seeded fourth in this tournament, in the semi-finals on Saturday.