'Just didn't want another bronze'

'Just didn't want another bronze'

Inspiring

'Just didn't want another bronze'

Soon after winning the silver medal in women’s badminton on Friday, P V Sindhu talked of her life taking a different turn, thanks to her Olympic success.

The shuttler had a sneak preview of things to come when she came out of Riocentro Pavilion, the venue of her silver medal victory, a little while after the medals presentation.

There was an army of television reporters waiting with their cameras. Journalists from the print media too thronged her for her comments. Volunteers and fans vied with each other to take photos and selfies with her, many jostled to get her autographs.

Perhaps, the best indicator of a badminton player’s rise is the way the Chinese fans respond to them. As Sindhu continued her media engagements, a bunch of fans from the badminton-mad nation came rushing, shouting ‘Sindhu, Sindhu.’ The Indian star graciously posed with them for photographs before continuing with her interviews.

Sindhu and her coach Pullela Gopichand talked of the sacrifices they had to make and the disciplined lifestyle she had to follow. “I am thankful to my coach and to my parents. They also had to forego many things so that I could come up in sport,” said Sindhu. The 21-year-old underlined meticulous preparation as the reason for her success. “For the last two months I didn’t have any tournaments and we worked very hard with the Olympics as my goal. I was handed a tough draw but I believed in myself and decided to take it one match at a time. I didn’t think of a medal then, it was all about playing your best every match.”

Things changed, Sindhu said, once she reached the semifinals, setting up a clash with Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, the All-England champion this year and winner of the Super Series Finals last year. Against a rival who had a better record against her, Sindhu raised her game by several notches to come out victorious. Okuhara acknowledged it when she said Sindhu was a different player from the one who she had beaten in February this year.

“I just didn’t want to go back with a bronze medal. I had won two bronze medals at the World Championships and this time, I certainly wanted a medal of a better colour,” she said of her desperation.

A fan of Ranbir Kapoor and Hrithik Roshan, Sindhu said she was eager to return home soon and enjoy her success, perhaps watch a movie or two. “I can’t wait to go back and celebrate this success with my parents,” she said.

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