Rio de Janeiro: India’s No. 9 seed P.V Sindhu continued her Cinderella run at the Rio Olympics semi-finals, beating No. 6 seed Nozomi Okuhara 21-19, 21-10 on Thursday to guarantee of at least a silver medal for India.
Backed by her fellow fans who were chanting “Go India, go!”, the 21-year-old Hyderabadi played confidently to outclass the Japanese in a predominantly one-sided affair.
“I don’t feel much pressure but it’s definitely a big moment for me playing in the final,” said Sindhu.
Nevertheless, tough path awaits Sindhu on Friday as World No. 1 Carolina Marin stood in her way in the final.
In the other women’s singles semi-final match between the current world champion Carolina Marin of Spain and the reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui of China, Marin showed off her agility and great offensive skill, charged past Li in straight sets with 21-14 and 21-16, bolstering her status as an overwhelming favorite for Olympic gold.
On the other hand, Li Xuerui fell and suffered a knee injury when she was trailing 16-17 in the second set. She had to call for a time out in order to receive brief treatment. Li returned to the court after battling the injury, but she was not longer able to move as freely as she usually did. Li Xuerui might not play in the bronze medal match on Friday if her injury is found to have substantial impact on her game.