Glasgow, Aug 26: India's 2012 Olympic bronze medallist Sai Nehwal lost her singles semi-fil against Japanese seventh seed Nozomi Okuhara as she settled for a bronze medal at the World Badminton Championships here on Saturday.
Sai settles for bronze
Sai, the 12th seed, lost 21-12, 17-21, 10-21 in an hour and 14 minutes to the 2016 Olympic bronze medallist, who became the first Japanese to reach the World Championships women's singles fil.
World Championships 2015 runner-up Sai, who had a 6-1 head-to-head record against Okuhara coming into this game, started strongly, winning the first game 21-12 as the Japanese struggled to get into her rhythm.
The 22-year-old Japanese struggled with her net play and a few erratic line judgements to trail 6-11 which became 6-15 before losing 12-21.
Okuhara got off to a flying start in the second game, taking a 4-0 lead but the 27-year-old Sai fought back and equalised at the nine-point mark.
Sai kept pace with her younger and sharper opponent but she got tired towards the end. At 17-all, Sai wasted a great chance to take the lead as she fired a smash wide right.
Then, Okuhara claimed three consecutive points as she showed more energy and agility as a tired Sai failed to stop her from dictating the rallies.
In the third game, Okuhara completely domited and her fast-paced game didn't allow Sai to get back into it.
Okuhara, the 2012 world junior champion, raced away to an 11-4 lead and afterwards it was just a matter of time before the Japanese sealed the game at 21-10 and with this a place in the fil.
Sai struggled with movements and failed to reach for Okuhara's delectable drop shots.
Meanwhile, men's singles defending champion Chen Long of Chi was ousted by Viktor Axelsen of Denmark. The Danish third seed crushed the 2016 Olympic champion 21-9, 21-10 in 39 minutes. IANS