Champion shuttler Saina Nehwal rewrote history by becoming the first Indian to cruise into the Olympics badminton semifinal and bring the country’s tottering campaign back the on the rails after medal hopes shooter Ronjan Sodhi and boxer Jai Bhagwan bit the dust at the London Games here Thursday.
The 22-year-old Saina, the fourth seed, warmed the hearts of her fans with a 21-15, 22-20 win over fifth-seed former World No.1 Dane Tine Baun at the Wembley Arena.
However, before Saina took to the court, India’s date with the Olympics began with a double heartbreak Thursday as highly-rated double trap marksman Sodhi failed to make the final while pugilist Jai Bhagwan fell by the wayside in the pre-quarterfinals.
With hopes of winning shining metals from the two events dashed, the country’s medal count remained stuck at one – courtesy a bronze won by Gagan Narang in the men’s 10m air rifle Monday.
In Image: India’s Saina Nehwal celebrates after winning against Denmark’s Tine Baun