Saina Nehwal loses final to Carolina Marin, settles for historic World badminton silver

Spanish shuttler Carolina Marin thrashed Saina Nehwal in the final of World Championships in Jakarta on Sunday to successfully defend her title.

Saina Nehwal loses final to Carolina Marin, settles for historic World badminton silver

New Delhi: Spanish shuttler Carolina Marin thrashed Saina Nehwal in the final of World Championships in Jakarta on Sunday to successfully defend her title.

The 22-year-old beat the second seeded Nehwal in straight sets 21-16, 21-19 to prove her mettle once again.

World number two Saina looked quite composed in the beginning of the match and maintained the lead till Marin rallied back to level the score at 7-7. The top ranked shuttler then took a crucial lead of four points (11-7), before going for the first break.

Poor judgement and a couple of lucky drops went in favour of the Spaniard after the break as she swelled her lead to five points to go up 15-10.

Saina regained her composure a bit to reduced her deficit. But mentally strong and aggressive Marin kept wining the important points and pocketed the opening game 21-16 without much sweat.

In the second game, Saina once again started off well to maintain a healthy five points advantage till 10-5. The Indian shuttler was well in control of the second game before going for the break in the 2nd set with the scoreline of 11-6.

The defending champion then made an excellent comeback by taking six straight points to level the score as the scoreline read 12-all.

Even after squandering her lead, the Indian didn't lose hope and took a lead for a brief period (16-14).

However, Marin levelled the score soon at 17 apiece, and then the southpaw finished the game 21-19 in no time to win her second world championship.   

The Spaniard burst into tears and collapsed on the court as Nehwal`s final shot sailed out, delivering Marin the title she wasn`t sure she would ever defend.

She missed the world championships entirely after suffering a foot injury just a month ago and refused to speculate about her chances of retaining her crown.

But the unsteadiness evident in her opening round matches gave way to sensational form later in the tournament, delivering Marin her fourth title of the season. 

It was only the second time a Chinese player had not featured in the women`s singles final since the Asian badminton powerhouse began competing at the world championships in 1983.

This is the fifth time an Indian has won a medal at the World meet.

Prakash Padukone became the first Indian to win a bronze in 1983 in men's singles. India waited for another 28 years when Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa clinched the women's doubles bronze in 2011.

PV Sindhu won two back-to-back women's singles bronzes in 2013 and 2014 and now Saina, for the first time, has won a medal other than the bronze.

(With Agency inputs)

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