It was third time lucky for P V Sindhu as she became the first Indian shuttler to clinch the World Championships gold with a clinical win over Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the final. The 24-year-old had fallen at the final hurdle in the last two editions, but there was no stopping the Hyderabadi in the Swiss city of Basel on Sunday. It was a triumph of grit and perseverance for Sindhu, who also equalled Chinese legend Zhang Ning's record tally of five medals at the Worlds. It was also sweet revenge for Sindhu who had lost to Okuhara in an epic final in the 2017 edition.
Sindhu has had a rather ordinary season by her usual high standards. She had lost to Akane Yamaguchi of Japan in the Indonesia Open final last month, which was her first appearance in a title round this season. Sindhu wisely took a break after losing in the quarterfinals of the Japan Open and came back with renewed vigour for the Worlds. She looked fitter and lost just one game en route to her epochal triumph.
Sindhu edged out former world No. 1 Tai Tzu-ying of Taiwan in the quarterfinals and raised her game in the semifinal and final. She outplayed Chen Yu Fei of China to book her place in the title clash and demolished Okuhara in just 36 minutes to cap a memorable campaign.
Though consistency has been a remarkable feature of Sindhu's stellar career, the inability to win the big finals had taken gloss off her achievements. Sindhu, the reigning Olympic, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games silver medallist, had got the monkey off her back with her victory in the season-ending BWF Super Series Finals last year. This latest triumph has firmly put an end to her final jinx and with less than a year to go for the Tokyo Olympics it augurs well for both Sindhu and Indian badminton.