Lanky shuttler PV Sindhu made an historical entry into the final of the women's singles in Rio Olympics 2016, badminton. She outclassed Japan's higher-ranked Nozomi Okuhara and assured herself and the country of a medal, either gold or silver, on Thursday.
Sindhu, ranked 10th in the world, and went one better than her senior Saina Nehwal, who won bronze medal in London four years ago, by becoming the first ever Indian to enter the summit clash in the shuttle game in the quadrennial sports spectacle.
Sindhu defeated her short-statured, third-seeded Japanese rival, the current All England champion and world No 6 six, 21-19 21-10 in 49 minutes with superb, attacking play to enter Friday's final.
The Indian shuttler from Hyderabad, who won bronze twice in world championships, will confront Spain's world No 1 Carolina Marin, who ousted defending champion Li Xuerei of China in the first semi-final with a 21-14 21-16 victory.
Sindhu's heart-warming feat came a day after woman grappler Sakshi Malik had won a bronze in the 58kg class to end the medal drought for India in the Games on the 12th day of competition.
By Prakriti Neogi