'Excited about Oly debut'

'Excited about Oly debut'

Shuttler Sindhu hopes to grab a podium position at Rio 2016

'Excited about Oly debut'
With two back-to-back bronze medals in world championships adorning her list of achievements, Rio-bound Indian shuttler P V Sindhu says she will consider it a bigger feat if she could climb the podium on debut during the Olympic Games in August.

“It’s much more than world championships. The ultimate goal for anyone is to get a medal in the Olympics where the conditions and environment are totally different. (But) first of all I am very excited. It’s my first Olympics,” said the 20-year-old Hyderabadi at a media interaction here on Friday.

Delighted with squad
Sindhu, who will turn 21 exactly a month before the Games Opening, expressed her happiness that a total of seven shuttlers, two more than in London four years ago, had made the grade for the Rio Games.

“It’s great that seven players have been selected for the Olympics, including the women’s doubles team (Jwala Gutta and Arti Ponnappa) for the second time and the men’s doubles team (Manu Attri and B Sumeeth Reddy) for the first time,” said Sindhu.

Sindhu said that only after stepping on the court in Rio can she exactly say how different the environment will be, but she did not think the Olympics meant extra pressure.

“It’s the Olympic Games, so you need to play well. Everything is in your mind, but (there’s) nothing like (extra) pressure. It’s really exciting, but I may not know till I play a match as it’s the first time for me.”

With the Games fast approaching planning has been done so that Sindhu and the others would be free to concentrate on training intensely for one month just prior to the mega event.

“Only a few months are left (for the Games) and there are some tournaments left to play. We need to be prepared for them as well as Rio. The next important events (for Indian shuttlers) are the Thomas and Uber Cups (finals, from May 15-22 in China).

“We will be playing in Indonesia and Australia and then we will be having one month training. We are going to put the full effort for the Rio Olympics,” said a determined Sindhu.

Not taking it lightly
The near six-foot-tall player said it was not easy to pick anyone as a likely medallist and it was not wise to take any opponent lightly, while singling out Thailand’s former world champion Ratchanok Intanon and Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu Ying as particularly difficult opponents for her.

“As of now Ratchanok, is really challenging and is doing really well. I have recently played with her.

“And also Tai, she has also been playing well. I would have beaten her (recently), but missed it by 2-3 points. It depends on the day,” she explained.

Asked about the likelihood of facing Saina across the court in Rio, Sindhu said, “Definitely that (possibility) will be there. Only one (of us) can win if that happens. “Off court we are friends, but on court the rivalry is there.”