Five Olympic moments defining Indian badminton

By Saurabh Shankar

Ever since badminton was formally introduced into the Olympics in 1992, the Indian contingent has been one of the more active participants in the sport, winning medals in the past two editions of the global sporting extravaganza.

But it's not just the medals: Indian shuttlers have had several memorable moments in the previous editions of the competition. We bring to you five such iconic memories .

Sindhu's semi-final triumph

PV Sindhu at Rio 2016

India’s only silver medallist in badminton at the Olympics, PV Sindhu had to overcome a challenging game against fifth seed Nozomi Okuhara in the semi-final.

Despite her inferior ranking compared to Okuhara, the Indian shuttler scripted a victory in straight games to get to the final in her first-ever Olympic Games. This image captures the moment when SIndhu booked her final place and sent an entire nation into dreamland.

Nehwal's sporting gesture

Saina Nehwal consoles Xin Wang at London 2012

Playing the bronze medal match at the 2012 London Olympics, China’s Xin Wang was leading against Saina Nehwal after the first game.

However, at the start of the second game, Wang was forced to retire after suffering a knee injury, which meant Nehwal became India’s first medal winner for badminton in the Olympics.

The Indian shuttler was quick to console her Chinese counterpart instead of celebrating a momentous moment for India, showing us all a great example in sportsmanship.

Gutta-Ponnappa’s unfortunate exit

Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta 

In the group stages of the 2012 London Olympics women’s doubles, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa exited the competition after managing two points from their three games.

However, the two teams that qualified ahead of them also had only a couple of points in their kitty at the end of the group stages.

Gutta and Ponnappa had to bow out owing to their loss against Japan’s Mizuki Fujji and Reika Kakiiwa; who ended second place but went through thanks to a better head-to-head record in the competition against the Indian shuttlers.

Srikanth’s tussle with a familiar foe

Srikanth Kidambi against Dan Lin

At his debut Olympic Games at Rio 2016, Srikanth Kidambi glided through the initial stages of the competition, winning all his games until he faced a familiar foe in China’s Lin Dan in the quarterfinals.

The Indian shuttler had shocked the world by beating Dan two years earlier at the China Open Super Series, but the reigning Olympic champion managed to get the better of Kidambi in Rio 2016.

Kidambi though gave the Chinese star a tough fight, playing one of the most competitive games of the tournament and his career.

Kissing the silver

Women's badminton singles podium at Rio 2016

PV Sindhu won one of India’s two medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics, playing some spectacular badminton throughout the competition.

She was, however, foiled in the final by the top-ranked female star Carolina Marin of Spain.

Despite losing, Sindhu reserved a special place for herself in Indian badminton history by becoming the first silver medallist from the nation for that sport.


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