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BWF World Championship 2019: Recap of India's success at badminton's most prestigious event
Let's take a quick recap of India’s success stories at the Badminton’s most coveted tournament.
Indian badminton, of late, has witnessed an ecstatic success and the achievements at the international level serve as a testament to it. This can indeed be called the golden period of Indian badminton as the country has achieved unprecedented heights in the last decade and a half. Two Olympic medals, Seven Commonwealth gold medals, three silver and five bronze medals from the World Championships, first-ever gold at the World Tour Finals and several medals across all age categories in major events all bear testimony to that. While Indian players have enjoyed a chequered past at the World Championships, now, the 25th edition is around the corner, which offers yet another opportunity for India to stake its claim as one of the sport’s rising powerhouses. Let's take a quick recap of India’s success stories at the Badminton’s most coveted tournament.
The Padukone eraWhile individual brilliance and solitary success stories drove Indian badminton, it was not until the legendary Prakash Padukone’s era that the importance of fitness and professionalism were truly understood that laid the foundation of India’s upward journey in the badminton domain. Prakash Padukone’s legacy goes beyond his 1980 All England Championship title and in 1983, he became the first Indian to win medal at the Worlds. Heralded as the pioneer of Indian badminton, Prakash Padukone was the one who put the country on the badminton map and was a lone warrior in a time dominated by the Danes and the Chinese. Padukone’s legacy goes beyond his 1980 All England Championship title and in 1983, he became the first Indian to win a medal at the Worlds.' https://twitter.com/TheBridge_IN/status/1161978344642174976?s=20 In a pulsating semi-final tie against Indonesia’s Icuk Sugiarto, Padukone won the first game 15-9, but eventually lost in the decider to win the nation's first medal (a bronze) at the coveted tournament.
India's first and only doubles victoryOne of India's most successful doubles pairs, the duo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa justified their billing by bagging the bronze at the 2011 World Championships in London. Eight summers ago, they broke a 28-year drought by clinching bronze to give India its first doubles medal at a world championship. Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa justified their billing by bagging the bronze at the 2011 World Championships Gutta and Ponappa had a tough draw and faced Chinese duo of Tian Qing and Yunlei in the semi-finals, but lost the match in straight games and settled for the third place.
The Saina-Sindhu dominanceFrom 2013 until last year, it has been sheer dominance from India's two leading female shuttlers- PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal as they share seven World Championship medals between them. Aged only 18, a young PV Sindhu gave early glimpses of her incredible prowess when she won the bronze at the 2011 edition. The young Hyderabad girl went on a giant-killing rampage, upsetting Chinese stalwarts Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian en route semis. Sindhu followed suit the next year, at the 2014 championships in Denmark. History repeated itself as the lanky Indian secured the bronze for a second consecutive time— becoming India's first shuttler to win back-to-back medals at World Championships. She did an encore in 2017 and 2018 as well, this time notching up two consecutive silvers and taking her cumulative world championship medal tally to four. PV Sindhu gave early glimpses of her incredible prowess when she won the bronze at the 2011 World Championships On the other hand, while Saina had already won her first Olympic medal in 2012 and climbed to the apex of BWF rankings, but a World Championship medal had still stayed elusive to the shuttle queen. However, in 2015, Nehwal broke the jinx giving an exemplary display of her flair to pick up the silver after succumbing to ace Spaniard Carolina Marin in the summit clash. In 2015, Saina Nehwal broke the jinx giving an exemplary display of her flair to pick up the silver at the World Championships Her 2017 World Championships bronze, however, had grit. She was laid low by a career-threatening injury during the 2016 Rio Olympics, Nehwal had a tough convalescence phase. But Nehwal gruelled hard to make it to the semis. In the penultimate match against Nozomi Okuhara, she lost 21-12, 17-21, 10-21. With just four days to go, the Indian shuttlers will be raring to challenge the world's best players and try to add new feathers to their cap.