Kidambi Srikanth | AFP
Huelva (Spain): In a historic final in BWF World Championships, Indian padder Kidambi Srikanth lost to Singapore’s Loh Kean Yew in a nail-biting final held at Huelva in Spain here on Sunday. However, he became the first Indian men's singles player to win silver in the world championships.
Dominating early on in the match, Kidambi Srikanth took the early lead against Singapore's Loh Kean Yew. However, Loh Kean Yew bounced back to win the first game by 21-15. In the second game, Srikanth repeated the same magic as he dominated early on and took the lead. But, brilliant play from the Yew ends the tightly contest second match 20-22 in favour of the Singaporean.
He became the first Indian player to achieve a silver medal in the men’s singles event at this stage. Earlier, Lakshya Sen signed off the tournament with a bronze after losing to his compatriot Srikanth in the semi-final. Legendary Prakash Padukone (bronze in 1983) and B Sai Praneeth (bronze in 2019) are the two other players who managed this feat in this category.
Earlier, Srikanth etched his name in the history books by becoming the first Indian man to reach the finals of the BWF World Badminton Championships with a come-from-behind win over compatriot Lakshya Sen on Saturday.
In a historic all-Indian men's singles semi-final, it was the 28-year-old Srikanth who defeated Sen 17-21 21-14 21-17 in a thrilling contest that lasted an hour and nine minutes.
India's P V Sindhu has won two silvers, besides two bronze and the coveted gold in 2019, while the women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa had also won a bronze, in 2011.
Also, Saina Nehwal has a silver and a bronze to her name in the marquee event.
It was a huge moment not only for Indian badminton but also for world No. 14 Srikanth, who had endured injuries and a loss of form which saw him miss the Tokyo Olympics this year, since winning four Super Series titles in 2017.