Saina Nehwal’s semi-final exit and PV Sindhu’s run to the final have ensured India of two medals at the World Badminton Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. Nehwal’s run came to an end on Saturday as she settled for a bronze. However, Sindhu has a chance to become the first Indian to become a badminton world champion on Sunday. Here’s a look at all the Indian medallists at the World Badminton Championships.

Prakash Padukone, bronze in 1983

Padukone has many firsts to his name in Indian badminton. He was the first to win the prestigious All England Open in 1980 that put the country on badminton map, and three years later he went on to claim another first as he clinched a bronze medal with a semi-final run at the 1983 world championships in Denmark. Padukone made a strong start in his semi-final against Icuk Sugiarto, winning the first game 15-9 but eventually succumbed to the Indonesian to settle for a bronze.

Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa, bronze in 2011

For long the pairing of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa has been the sole Indian hope for a doubles medal at major badminton tournaments. And they justified their billing with a bronze medal at the 2011 edition of the world championships. Gutta and Ponappa had overcome some tough pairings to reach the semi-finals against the Chinese duo Tian Qing and Yunlei, but their resistance was over in two games as they settled for a bronze—India’s first and thus far only doubles medal at a world championship.

PV Sindhu, bronze in 2013 and 2014

Sindhu put in a string of superlative displays on her way to a first bronze in 2013 in China. She defeated strong home favourites Wang Yihan and Wang Shixian in successive rounds to book her place in the semi-final. A step away from the gold medal clash, she succumbed to a 21-10, 21-13 loss at the hands of the eventual champion Ratchanok Inthanon and came home with a creditable bronze.

The Hyderabad-resident became the first Indian to claim back-to-back world championships medals with another impressive semi-final run at the 2014 edition. For a second successive year the 11th seed overcame the second seed Chinese Wang Shixian, this time in a gruelling three-game quarter-final to set up a last four date with the Spaniard Carolina Marin who proved a bridge too far for Sindhu.

Nehwal created history in 2015 by becoming the first Indian to reach the final of World Badminton Championships. Photo: Reuters
Nehwal created history in 2015 by becoming the first Indian to reach the final of World Badminton Championships. Photo: Reuters

Saina Nehwal, silver in 2015 and bronze in 2017

Nehwal created history in 2015 by becoming the first Indian to reach the final of World Badminton Championships. She overcame the unseeded Cheung Ngan Yi 21-13, 21-9 in the second round, 14th seed Sayaka Takahashi 21-18, 21-14 in the third round, sixth seed Wang Yihan 21-15, 19-21, 21-19 in the quarters and the unseeded Lindaweni Fanetri 21-17, 21-17 to book a final date with Marin. But the Spaniard once again proved to be an Indian’s undoing as Nehwal settled for an unprecedented silver following a 21-16, 21-19 defeat. India finally had a medal other than bronze at a world championship.

Nehwal collected her second medal at the world championships with a bronze this year. The London Olympics bronze medallist reached the semi-final along with her compatriot Sindhu, raising prospects of an all-India final. However, it wasn’t to be as Nehwal fell 21-12, 21-17, 21-10 to the Japanese seventh seed Nozomi Okuhara in her last four to settle for a bronze.

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