The Supreme Court, earlier this week, marked the country’s road to intellectual progress by passing historic verdicts, namely, recognition of the citizen’s right to privacy as a fundamental right and the abolition of Triple Talaq practice by part of the Muslims of the whole country.
However, these sentences were marked by violence and illegality following a special trial by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which found Godman Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh guilty on rape charges.
India watched with horror as thousands of Ram Rahim’s followers took to the streets of Panchkula and Sirsa in Haryana, vandalizing anything on their way, including the OB vans of the various television stations that were present on the scene. Up to 38 people were killed in the violence of the mob and 200 people were injured.
As the week ended, two sporting arena events gave the Indians the opportunity to put the horror of Panchkula and Sirsa behind them – the dominant display of the Indian cricket team over Sri Lanka, as Virat Kohli and Co emerged to An unassailable 3- 0 in the five-game ODI series in Sri Lanka, and the magic career of shuttler PV Sindhu to the BWF World Championship final, where he became the second Indian to win silver in tournament history.
The bronze medal finish of Saina Nehwal made the tournament even more special for fans of Indian badminton.
While a final between Saina and Sindhu would have been the thing that Indian fans would have wished the most, the way the 2017 BWF World Championship evolved was perhaps akin to 70 years of India independence.
Not many things have been perfect. There have been perhaps more occasions that justify tears or pain, than joy. Followers of singles like Kidambi Srikanth, B Sai Praneeth and Ajay Jayaram, who showed a lot of promise in previous tournaments in 2017, were eliminated from the quarterfinals and the third round, respectively. Mixed doubles duo Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy also crashed in the third round.
Sindhu herself had a brilliant performance at the World Championships, beating Kim Hyo-min of Sout Korea and Sun Yu and Chen Yufei of China. The only real competition he faced on the road to the final was against Cheung Ngan Yi of Hong Kong, who was beaten 19-21, 23-21, 21-17 in the third round.
The final, however, was a completely different proposition. The girl from Hyderabad faced Nozomi Okuhara, who had made a good chunk of giants on their way to the final. The Japanese pitcher overcame the challenges of tournament favorites like Carolina Marin and Saina Nehwal to reach the summit clash.
Just reaching the final, the two shuttlers had carved out a piece of history, if not for themselves or their respective countries, then at least for the history of the BWF World Championships. The winner of the summit clash would have the honor of hearing the national anthem of his country ring for the first time in the history of the BWF World Championships. Of course, there was also the subject of the gold medal.
Encouraged by the high stakes, both Sindhu and Okuhara offered an end that was without a doubt one of the best matches that the tournament has seen.
The match itself bounced and flowed both ways, as neither shuttlers gave each other in a game that lasted 110 minutes; This was the second longest single women’s badminton match in the current format, just seconds from the world record.
As the game advanced, the players found themselves making frequent breaks, as the referee continued to call them back to court. Even Sindhu received an official warning. In the end, everything was reduced to sheer willpower like the two dug in their reserves.
Okuhara may have emerged victorious in the end, but Sindhu can keep his head high. She huffed and swollen, and gave it all. She gave hope to billions of people, who were still reeling from the heinous events that unfolded in Panchkula and Sirsa just a few days before.
To Sindhu’s advantage, the BWF World Championship final was not the last straw. At the age of 22, the girl from Hyderabad is just entering the peak of the badminton race, and we can only hope to improve her previous performances. Maybe an Olympic gold in Tokyo 2020 may also be on the cards.
The perspective of top-notch women doubles rivalries is something that will keep even the badminute fans
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