Thai teen Ratchanok Intanon won the women’s singles crown at the World Badminton Championships after beating Olympic champion Li Xuerui in the final 22-20, 18-21, 21-14.
She set the 2013 badminton world championships alight with a dominant three-set win over Li Xuerui of China to claim her country’s first gold medal in the sport.
The 18-year-old Ratchanok did it in super style, ending Indian giant-killer P.V. Sindhu’s gallant run with a 21-10, 21-13 win in a 36-minute semi-final showdown.
According to Bangkok Post report, at the end of the match Ratchanok dropped to her knees in tears on court before bowing to an applauding stadium.
A smiling Ratchanok, who still has braces on her teeth, said she would meet Her Majesty the Queen on Monday, which is a national holiday to mark the queen’s birthday and Mother’s Day.
“I am going to bring my victory to the queen and to my mother and godmother as a gift,” Ratchanok said.
“Before this match I didn’t have confidence when I was competing against the top players, but after today I will.
“Li was not playing like herself. I felt really relaxed and I think she was nervous. I have played her five times and she has won four, so it was amazing that I beat her today.”
Speaking after the match a deflated Li said she had found it hard to concentrate.
“It wasn’t being the top seed that affected my mindset – I think I was just too eager to win.
“We prepared thoroughly for the match, but it was hard to implement the plan. When I tried to execute my strategies, I would make errors.
“My opponent played very well and seemed very relaxed, which put a lot of pressure on me.”
The Roi Et girl had already set the world championships alight by becoming the first Thai player to make it through to the final.
Ratchanok’s semi-final win boosted up her Facebook page Saturday with her 52,600 followers already proud of her achievements. “You’ve made Thai people happy,” one message wrote.