Glasgow: Crestfallen after suffering a heartbreaking semifinal loss, there was consolation for P V Sindhu as she won a bronze medal in the women`s singles event of badminton competition in the 20th Commonwealth Games here on Saturday.
Touted to win the gold for India, Sindhu could not cross the last-four hurdle, going down fighting to Michelle Li of Canada 22-20 22-20. But the 19-year-old managed to regain her composure to beat Malaysia`s Jing Yi Tee 23-21 21-9 to win the bronze for India in her first Commonwealth Games appearance at the Emirates Arena.
The disappointment of losing the semifinal was writ large on her face as Sindhu struggled with her strokes throughout the first game. She lost a lot of points at the nets to allow a tired Jing to claw back every time Sindhu moved ahead.
At the first break, Sindhu managed to lead 11-10 but the Malaysian was always breathing down her neck as they moved to 17-16 when Sindhu faltered with a forehand net shot and then hit long twice to hand over the lead to Jing.
However, Sindhu didn`t give up and managed to wrest back control and eventually pocketed the first game when Jing hit wide.
After a pep talk from coach Pullela Gopichand, Sindhu found her bearings and the second game turned out to be a cakewalk as Jing struggled to move around the court while the Indian dominated with her array of strokes.
After her win in the bronze medal match, Sindhu was asked about her semifinal loss.
"It was anyone`s game. I can`t explain it because I was very disappointed. I was very disappointed not to be in the final but I`ll just have to be happy with this bronze medal."
"At least I have a bronze but that is not the medal I wanted. I came here for a gold and everyone in India hoped I would win a gold but I will definitely do that in four years` time (at the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games)."
On making a comeback after the reverse in the last-four clash, she said, "My coach told me not to think about it. Ups and downs happen in life. You just have to move on but it was on my mind before the game and it`s still on my mind now.
"My coach said to me that I just had to come back. I could not lose this bronze match as well."
About the scheduling, with matches played in the morning and evening, she said, "In India we practise in the morning and then the afternoon and we have to be ready for these occasions so there is no problem."