Saturday, 4 August 2012

Saina wins bronze after Wang retires hurt

Saina Nehwal reacts after winning a point while playing against China's Xin Wang during the women's singles bronze medal match at Olympic Games in London on Saturday.

  • Saina Nehwal on Saturday created history by becoming the first Indian to win an Olympic Games bronze medal in badminton, though under fortuitous circumstances, as her world number two Chinese opponent retired from the play-off because of a knee injury.
  • The 22-year-old Saina was trailing 18-21, 0-1 in the high-voltage bronze medal play-off match when her second seeded opponent Xin Wang retired hurt, giving India an unexpected medal without having to sweat much.
  • Saina also became the second Indian woman to win an Olympic medal, after Karnam Malleswari’s weightlifting bronze in 2000 Sydney Olympics.
  • Saina said her defeat against top ranked player Yihan Wang of China yesterday was still rankling her as she had adopted a wrong strategy against her.
  • Saina, seeded fourth, started off well by taking an early lead but the Chinese clawed back and the score moved neck and neck till 6-6. From then on, the Chinese increased the lead by not allowing Saina to play her natural game.
  • Wang took a lead of 16-10 but the Indian again showed her tenacity by reducing the margin and engaging her opponent in long rallies, a tactics which she could not do in the semifinal match.
  • The turning point came when the score was 20-18 in the first game. In her bid to finish off the game, Wang leaped into the air and unleashed a blistering smash from the baseline but landed awkwardly and injured her left knee in the process.
  • She bandaged her knee and took the court for the second game but conceded after just one point.

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