AgencyBasel: P V Sindhu secured her fifth World Championships medal following a stunning comeback while B Sai Praneeth became the first Indian male shuttler in 36 years to grab a podium in the prestigious event here on Friday. On a day of double delight for India, Olympic silver medallist Sindhu staged a come-from-behind victory over Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying, before Praneeth ended an agonising wait with a straight-game win over Indonesia’s Jonatan Christie. Sindhu, who won back-to-back silver medals in the last two editions of the tournament to go with her two bronze, edged past world number 2 and Asian Games gold medallist Tzu Ying 12-21 23-21 21-19 in a pulsating contest that lasted 71 minutes, inching closer to an elusive gold medal at the worlds. World No. 19 Praneeth, who got the Arjuna Award this year, notched up a 24-22 21-14 win over Asian Games gold medallist Jonatan in a 51-minute battle, joining Prakash Padukone in the medal list at the tournament. Padukone was the first Indian to win a men’s singles World Championships medal — a bronze — in the 1983 edition. In the women’s singles, Sindhu showed tremendous grit after being blown away in the opening game, edging past her fancied rival, who enjoys an upper hand (10-4) after 14 career meetings. “I think in the first game, I had given a huge lead and I couldn’t cover. I was prepared for her deception but my shots were going to mid court. But the second game was anybody’s game and I kept fighting and won the second. The third game went same way, she was leading but I had hope. At 18-18, I had to be patient and keep the shuttle inside, there were long rallies ad I am happy to win this,” Sindhu said after the win. “We keep playing each other, so we know each other’s game. I needed to be positive. It was a really good match and taking out such close matches gives a big boost to the confidence and I hope I can prepare well and come back stronger tomorrow.” The 24-year-old Indian will take on the winner of the match between China’s Chen Yu Fei and Denmark’s Mia Blichfeldt on Saturday.
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