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Sindhu focussed on perfecting her skills to bag third Olympic medal

Sindhu had claimed a silver and bronze medal at the last two Olympics at Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.
Last Updated : 30 June 2024, 15:27 IST

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New Delhi: Two-time Olympic medallist P V Sindhu is physically and mentally in best shape but realises she needs to be "much more smarter" in her pursuit of a third medal at the Games.

Sindhu had claimed a silver and bronze medal at the last two Olympics at Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo and will be heading into Paris with the aim of becoming the first Indian to win three Olympic medals.

"It is challenging, it's not easy but, at the same time, it's not impossible," Sindhu said during an interaction conducted by Sports Authority of India, the Indian Olympic Association and the Badminton Association of India.

"Going into the third Olympics, I need to be smarter. I have a lot of experience on my side and I need to be much more smarter and I hope I can change the colour, and of course, get another medal for the country." Sindhu is currently training at the Hermann-Neuberger Sportschule in Saarbrucken, Germany after her proposal was cleared by the sports ministry. She will be heading to Paris directly from there when the Games begin on July 26.

"... Physically and mentally I am right there, I just have to be smarter and my coach Agus (Dwi Santoso) has been taking care of that, my trainer has been taking care of my physical part.

"I am working on all the strokes, whether it is defense, or attack or netplay, it is important to be perfect in all things.

"So I'm not focussing on just one stroke or technique, because you never know what it is going to be, there are players who are smart enough to change and move to plan B."

"So you need to be prepared for it and I am focusing on practicing each and everything to make everything perfect -- each stroke, all techniques." Asked why she picked Germany as her training base ahead of the Games, Sindhu said: "Prakash (Padukone) sir, and we all discussed and thought, it will be a good place, it is near to Paris, it is in between nowhere, so I am much more focussed."

"I have taken few sparring partners and have a team and currently training here has been very peaceful. I can focus even more before the Olympics." Sindhu has spent most time on the court in the run-up to the Olympics but she hasn't been consistent enough or beating the top players. The Indian, though, did manage a runner-up finish at Malaysia Masters super 500.

"It took me some time to come back (from injury) and I feel that now I'm doing well. Coming to the finals is not an easy thing. And, finishing matches, not finishing matches, it depends on how we play."

"Sometimes nothing might work out," she said referring to the loss in Malaysian Masters final.

"I feel that there's been a lot of improvement and I know that I can do much better and I'm confident that I'm getting there. I need to keep believing in myself and keep working much harder."

"I feel the Olympics is something where it will be very different. I don't want to compare with others but looking at my form, I'm in great shape and it's just that you have to play very differently with every player."

"It's a different style of play. I think the strategy will be very different whether it is Chen Yu Fei or An Seyoung. It also depends on the draws, with whom I play. Looking forward to going to the Olympics. So, yeah, hoping for the best." Sindhu, who trained under Pullela Gopichand for many years, moved from Hyderabad to Bengaluru after trying out four different coaches in 12 months.

The ace shuttler feels the level of competition now is very high.

"I've played two Olympics and this will be my third and every time the game keeps changing, every Olympics there are different players."

"So it is going to be very challenging and really hard because one is we know each other's game and two is the game has completely changed and I think there are a lot of players who would be looking at your game, how you're playing, what are they doing, what needs to be done."

"So there are a lot of tactics and techniques which will go into this and also physically and mentally you need to be much more stronger, much smarter." Talking about her mentor Padukone, Sindhu said he has been helping her out by pointing out flaws.

"Prakash sir has been seeing my matches and he's been telling me a few things if I'm making mistakes. He observes a lot."

"When he sat behind me in the last All England and French Open, his inputs were quite simple. He just always told me that you know just play freely and just give your best."

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Published 30 June 2024, 15:27 IST

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