World champion PV Sindhu returns to grand welcome

New Delhi: PV Sindhu arrived at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Dew Delhi at midnight on Tuesday amid large fanfare after her historic World Championships triumph. Two-time silver medallist Sindhu ended an agonising wait for an elusive gold with a maiden World Championships title on Sunday. On her arrival to the national capital, PV Sindhu, in a brief interaction with the media, thanked her coaches for her historic achievement. The 24-year-old from Hyderabad also said, it was a great moment for her and she is really proud to be an Indian.

“I’d like to thank everyone, thanks to all my fans for blessings. I will work more hard and get many more medals. A much awaited win, missed it 2 times but I finally did it,” PV Sindhu said.

“A great moment for me. I am really very proud to be an Indian,” she added.

Sindhu became the first Indian to win a World Championships gold medal by thrashing familiar rival Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-7, 21-7 in one of the most lop-sided finals ever.

It was third time lucky for Sindhu, who lost to Okuhara and Olympic champion Carolina Marin of Spain respectively in the 2017 and 2018 finals to settle for silver twice.

Sindhu has been at the receiving end of criticism for coming up short in summit clashes of major events ever since the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she had finished second best to Marin.

Two years ago, Sindhu was denied the gold by Okuhara after an epic 110-minute final that went down as one of the greatest battles in badminton history.

The Indian also lost the finals of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the Jakarta Asian Games, besides the World Championships twice. She had also finished runners-up at Thailand Open and India Open last year.

The gold was her 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 World Championships history with former Olympic champion Zhang Ning of China, who won an identical 1 gold, 2 silver and 2 bronze between 2001 and 2007.