London: Saina Nehwal gave India its maiden medal in Olympic Games badminton when her Chinese opponent withdrew from the bronze medal contest after injuring her knee while pocket dynamo Laishram Devendro Singh stormed into the boxing quarterfinals with an upset victory here Saturday.
Saina was trailing by a game and 0-1 in her bronze medal play-off game against world no. 2 Xin Wang, who conceded the contest after injuring her knee when going for an acrobatic smash from the baseline.
The injury occurred when the 22-year-old Indian was staging a grand fightback in the opening game and had saved four game points to be 18-20. After taking on-court treatment and with her injured knee strapped around with bandages, the Chinese promptly won the next point and the game, but was unable to continue after winning the first point in the next game, and retired to leave the Indian champion winner.
The bronze won by Saina, who had lost her hopes of winning a gold after losing to world no. 1 Chinese player Yihan Wang yesterday, is the second by an Indian woman in Olympic history, the previous one being gained by weightlifter Karnam Malleswari at the 2000 Sydney Games.
It was also the country's 10th individual medal since its first - a bronze - in 1952 by wrestler Kashaba Jadhav and its third here after rifle shooter Gagan Narang's bronze on July 30 and pistol marksman Vijay Kumar's silver yesterday.
More good news emerged from the boxing arena when Devendro carved out a very impressive 16-11 verdict over Beijing Games silver medallist Serdumba Purevdorj, the 2009 world light flyweight champion, in the 49kg class.
Devendro's stunning victory over his more fancied Mongolian rival came as a consolation for the Indians who had been left dazed when their 69 kg fighter Vikas Krishan was controversially ousted from the competition after the governing body of the game, AIBA, overturned the result of his pre-quarterfinal bout, that he had won late last night, following a review.