Can PV Sindhu End India’s Medal Drought at Rio 2016?

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PV Sindhu has become the sole medal hope of an entire nation. India is still waiting for a medal at the Rio Olympics. The members of the Indian Olympics contingent have become a butt of jokes in some sections of the social media.  The Indian sports persons had gone to Rio with reasonable hopes of some medals. As the events unfolded, till now everyone has failed. PV Sindhu is the only serious medal hope remaining. She has reached the semi finals of the women’s badminton singles, beating the hot favourite China’s Wang Yihan in the quarter-finals in straight sets (22-20, 21-19). She will meet Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the semi-finals later today.

It will be a huge moment for the Indian sports. It can turn out to be a profitable moment for you also, if you are into online betting of sports. 12 bet is offering odds of 13/1 for an outright win for Sindhu. Let us now analyse her chances. That is, if you put Rs. 1000/- and Sindhu wins, you can take home Rs. 13000/-. Sounds interesting?

Know her opponent

Nozomi Okuhara is one of the fastest rising stars from Japan in the badminton horizon. The 21-year-old Okuhara is currently ranked sixth. For the record, Sindhu is ranked 10th. The Japanese climbed to the third rank in March before slipping to the sixth position. In contrast, Sindhu’s highest ranking so far has been ninth.

Okuhara is still looking for that big title win that would make her a big fish in the badminton circuit. She has been in reasonably good form in 2016, having registered 21 wins out of 29 matches. She won the All-England Open earlier this year, becoming the first Japanese woman to win the prestigious event. She will be keen to build on that success with Olympic glory.

Head to head record

If you are too much of a patriotic Indian, don’t look at these stats. On the other hand, if you are a smart mover in the online betting scene, here are those stats.

Okuhara leads the head to head record against Sindhu 3-1. The first time they met, way back in 2012, when both the players were teenage upstarts, Sindhu won the match after losing the first set: 18-21, 21-17 and 22-20. That match set the tone for the fierce competition between the two. Okuhara won the next match in three sets, which happened more than a couple of years later: 21-17, 13-21 and 21-11.

The Japanese holds the upper hand over the Indian in the recent matches as well. Okuhara defeated Sindhu 19-21, 21-13 and 21-8 in 2015. In the most recent match between the two, played at Hyderabad, Sindhu’s home city, in February 2016, Okuhara won again despite losing the first set: 18-21, 21-12 and 21-12.

Medal hopes

The betting firms are clearly backing Okuhara, judging from the odds. But Olympics brings out the best in certain players. It will not be like just another badminton context.

Sindhu can still win a medal even if she loses. She will have to win the losers’ final for that. The other semi final is between Spain’s Carolina Marín and China’s Li Xuerui. Marín is the current world number one and Xuerui is the world number three and reigning Olympic champion. Sindhu has a better chance against Okuhara than against the other two.

Prediction

If you are an Indian, it is not just a mere badminton match. It remains the only hope of a medal for one the most populous countries in the world. If Sindhu loses, it will be heartbreak for around 15% of the World’s population. The whole of India will be rooting for her. If you are a smart Indian, you would be online betting for her on 12bet too. The odds are attractive.

Photo Credit: ZeeNewsIndia

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