Do not underestimate your opponent

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Anticipated gold medal in the prestigious World Championship at Glasgow slipped from the hands of Sindhu when she lost to Nozomi Okuhara in the finals. It was a longest match lasting one-hour 70 minutes which Nozomi won 19-21, 22-20, 20-22. This is the first time that a Japanese is crowned as the winner in the World Badminton singles title.

This epic match reminds me the story of the battle between David and Goliath. David was a small shepherd boy and the youngest son from the house of Jesse in Israel. The Israelites weren’t getting along with people named the Palestine who were tall and dangerous. The confrontation went so worse that they decided to resolve it by a fight between the best of their fighters.

It was decided that the shepherd boy, David who was not even a man’s size to face the giant called Goliath, a nine-foot tall man representing Palestine in a one-on-one fight for the pride of the two communities.

The day on the battlefield when both these unidentical opponents faced each other, the reaction of Goliath was upsetting. “Oh My God! Do the Israelites think I’m a dog as they sent a boy to fight with me with a stick?” he said. As David stood before him with his shepherd’s staff unshaken by the taunts of the Palestinian, he aimed his sling shot at the giant and shoots stone towards him. It was bull’s eyes as Goliath was hit right between his eyes. He falls down like a house of cards. David didn’t miss any chance and quickly grabbed the Goliath’s sword and chopped off his head. Israel rejoiced over the victory and David was praised by the entire nation who later became the King.

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I don’t quite know for sure whether Sindhu heard this story or not. However, it is told over and over again – do not underestimate your opponent.  Sindhu might have done this blunder. She cannot be compared with Goliath. She is indeed the “Pride of India.” She has her fan following not only within the country but across the globe.

She knew that she had already defeated Nozomi in the past as they faced off in the semi–finals of Olympics of 2016. The Indian shuttler had a cake walk victory. Nozomi Okuhara (5 ft 1 in) or 1.55 m in height struggled with the attacking strokes of 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in) tall Indian. Nozomi had no answer to the aggressive avatar of Sindhu. Japanese was tired, frustrated, and succumbed to the formidable Indian. One could say that it was a one-sided game in favor of the Indian. Sindhu defeated Nozomi in the straight sets and secured her berth in the finals.

Now, there you have it – World Championship in 2017! A prestigious tournament in badminton witnessed the participation of top Badminton players from the world battling to grab the title of World Champion.

But what went wrong?

Certainly, the height of Nozomi didn`t increase in 2017. Possibly, I could only guess the following factors:

–    Nozomi learned from the mistakes of the Olympics

–    She geared her mind and soul to boldly face any odd situation

–    Never give up attitude of her

–    Last but not the least, Sindhu took her for granted.

Glasgow witnessed the women’s singles final between the two Asians. Nozomi already defeated another Indian (Saina Nehwal) in the semi-finals which have boosted her confidence level. However, Sindhu`s winning streak has been scripted from all dimensions ahead of the finals. Match exhibited the longest rally – 73-shot rally in the second game which went in favor of the Indian. Nozomi enthralled the crowds with her never give up attitude helped her winning 3 game points. Moreover, Sindhu seemed ran out of her fuel as she was shown a yellow card for causing the delay in play. Ironically, yellow is Sindhu`s favorite color. Nevertheless, the day belonged to Okuhara who finally clinched her first ever World Championship title.

As an Indian, I’m disappointed seeing Sindhu losing again and falling short of winning a gold medal. However, as a sports lover, I appreciate the Japanese for giving a tough fight to the Indian and finally winning the title for her country. Hopefully, this will be learning for the Hyderabadi Girl and we will see her winning gold in the future.

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