PV Sindhu became the first Indian shuttler to win gold in the Badminton World Championship. (Image credit: Twitter)
Beijing Olympics champion shooter Abhinav Bindra has lavished praise on PV Sindhu for her historic World Championship gold, saying the "fantastic performance" will give the Indian ace the belief to repeat the feat at 2020 Tokyo Games. Two-time silver medallist Sindhu became the first Indian to win the World Championships gold by thrashing familiar rival Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-7 21-7 in one of the most lop-sided finals ever in Basel, Switzerland on Sunday.
"Winning a World championship Gold medal is a fantastic achievement and a great day for Indian Sport. I am sure this will give @Pvsindhu1 intrinsic belief that she can go all the way at Tokyo. Wish her and her entire team the very best!," Bindra wrote on his twitter handle.
Former shuttler Jwala Gutta, who had clinched a bronze at the Birmingham World Championships with women's doubles partner Ashwini Ponnappa in 2011, also congratulated Sindhu and hoped her performance will bring a change in attitude towards sports. "Hope this medal changes the attitude towards sports in our country and the deserving sportspersons get all the support to achieve this kind of a feat! Thank you @Pvsindhu1 for this! You only proved that with the right kind of support we can conquer the world," Jwala tweeted.
Accolades continued to pour in for Sindhu with India middle-order batsman Hanuma Vihari and National chairman of selectors MSK Prasad also congratulating the Hyderabad girl for her historic feat. "Great achievement for Indian sports and I would like to congratulate her on this special day and we as Indians are proud of her," said Hanuma, who scored 93 in the second innings against the West Indies to play a crucial role in India's 318-run win in the World Championship campaign opener at Antigua. "I hope she goes onto achieve many more laurels for the country in future," Vihari added.
The gold was Sindhu's fifth medal at the World Championships. She won a bronze each in the 2013 and 2014 editions. Sindhu is now the joint highest medal-winner in women's singles in the World Championships history with former Olympic champion Zhang Ning of China, who won a gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze between 2001 and 2007. B Sai Praneeth also ended a 36-year long wait, becoming the first Indian male shuttler to win a medal at the World Championship. He won a bronze medal, emulating Prakash Padukone who had achieved the feat in 1983. Prasad also saluted the efforts of Sindhu and Praneeth and also lavished praise on national chief coach Pullela Gopichand for his contribution.
"Many many congratulations to PV Sindhu for winning the World Championship. This is a testimony for her hard work, commitment & Skills. Can't ask anything better from her. Whole country is proud of her," he said. "I would also like to appreciate Pullela Gopichand who has been the backbone of Indian Badminton. I personally know him and I have never seen anyone who is as committed as him. Hats off to Sindhu & Sai Praneeth and their Guru Gopichand."
Ajay K Singhania, general secretary of BAI, heaped praise on both the shuttler's efforts. "Sindhu has shown imperious performances as she defeated proven champions on course to her medal," he said.