Badminton: Sindhu wins India’s first world title

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2019 Badminton World Championships – St. Jakobshalle Basel, Basel, Switzerland – August 25, 2019 India’s Pusarla Sindhu celebrates on the podium after winning the women’s singles final REUTERS/Vincent Kessler

(Reuters) – Pusarla Sindhu won India’s first-ever title at the world badminton championships when she comfortably beat Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara 21-7 21-7 to win the women’s singles in Basel on Sunday.

Sindhu also ended her own unhappy run after she lost in the previous two world finals, including one against Okuhara in 2017, as well as the Olympic final in 2016 and the Commonwealth Games final last year.

The 24-year-old, fifth in the world rankings, never looked back after racing to an eight-point lead in the first game.

“Last time, I lost the finals. Before that, I also lost the finals so it’s very important for me to win now,” she said.

India Prime Minister Narendra Modi offered his congratulations on Twitter.

“The passion and dedication with which she’s pursued badminton is inspiring,” he said. “PV Sindhu’s success will inspire generations of players.”

Kento Momota, of Japan, retained the men’s title by outclassing 22-year-old Dane Anders Antonsen, who had stunned Olympic champion Chen Long in the quarter-finals, 21-9 21-3 in another one-sided match.

The world number one needed only 37 minutes to dispatch his opponent as he became the fourth man to win successive world titles.

The world championships are held annually, except in Olympic years.

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