The World No10 produced a stellar show of determination to oust the All England Open champion Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, 21-19, 21-10 in 49 minutes.
With this, the 21-year-old has assured India a second medal less than 24 hours after wrestler Sakshi Malik ended the country’s drought by taking bronze.
Sindhu becomes only the fifth Indian woman to clinch an Olympic medal, following in the footsteps of weightlifter Karnam Malleswari (Sydney, 2000), shuttler Saina Nehwal, boxer MC Mary Kom (both London, 2012) and Malik.
All four of those women had to be satisfied with bronze and by reaching the final, Sindhu has ensured that she would be the first Indian woman to claim either silver or gold.
The Hyderabad girl will face the World No. 1 Carolina Marin of Spain in the title showdown on Friday.
Sindhu has a 2-4 head-to-head record against the reigning world champion and last beat her in October at the Denmark Open.
The semi-final contest was by no means an easy task for the two-time World Championships bronze medallist.
Having lost the last three times to the Japanese, the Indian didn’t live up to her underdog status, taking control of the match with a mixture of aggression and guile.