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Kidambi Srikanth wins silver medal at the Badminton World Championships

Kidambi Srikanth becomes the first Indian man to win a silver medal at the Badminton World Championships after he loses 15-21, 20-22 against Loh Kean Yow of Singapore in the finals.

Kidambi Srikanth

Kidambi Srikanth (Source: BWF)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 19 Dec 2021 3:24 PM GMT

India's former world no.1, Kidambi Srikanth scripted history by becoming the first Indian male shuttler to win the silver medal at the BWF Badminton World Championships on Sunday in Huelva, Spain.

He reached this unprecedented feat after reaching the final and eventually losing to an unseeded world no. 22 Loh Kean Yow of Singapore in the finals by 15-21, 20-22

The Singaporean looked sharp from early on with his swift movements giving Kidambi some tight situations to recover from. Kidambi banked upon his powerful serves and held on to his nerves going for short rallies. After trailing initially, Kidambi took a lead of 9-3 in the first game, winning eight straight points. He managed to push Yow from one end to the other end of the court. Yow concentrated on his returns and fetched another four points in a row to come back at 7-9. At the interval, Kidambi established a four-point cushion of 11-7. A series of errors continued for Kidambi giving Yow a chance to equalise at 11-11.

The Singaporean exploited points against Kidambi with his extremely fast moves and eventually went on to lead 13-12. He kept on showcasing his fluency all over the court which steamed off Kidambi to lose more points. Kidambi went on to trail 13-17. Yow showed some phenomenal court coverage and won the first game having five game points at 21-15.

A tight contest started to ensue from the opening of the second game. A series of long net plays led Kidambi to bring some variation and eventually seek an edge at 6-4. He followed it up with a sublime smash past the SIngaporean to win another point. Yow won another five straight points to lead at the break at 11-9. A well-worked rally and two consecutive smashes gave Kidambi some momentum at 10-12. The Indian held up exploiting points from Yow's errors at 12-13 and eventually equalled at 14-14. The errors kept on piling for the youngster and a 49-shot rally gave Kidambi a slight edge of 16-14. A few errors by the Indian led Yow to win some points but Kidambi held on strong. Yo made 19-18 with a mighty smash. Yow earned one title point and eventually Kidambi hit back to make it 20-20 with a remarkable fight. Yow finishes off with a back court serve and won the title by 22-21.

Despite the Ioss, it is a huge moment not only for Indian badminton but also for world No. 14 Srikanth, who had endured injuries and a loss of form which saw him miss the Tokyo Olympics this year,

The 28-year-old former world No.1 is the first Indian to play the men's singles final. Prakash Padukone in 1983 and Sai Praneeth in 2019 had lost in the semifinals of the Worlds.

After winning four Super Series titles in 2017, Srikanth's form nosedived and his performance in Huelva, Spain on Sunday came as a major landmark of his return.

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