PV Sindhu : Life has really changed after Rio

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PV Sindhu : Life has really changed after Rio

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SportsCafe Desk

08/31/2016

Indian badminton ace PV Sindhu, who became the first Indian woman to win a Silver medal at the Olympics, has spoken about how her life has changed after Rio. The 21-year-old also recounted the thrilling final against Carolina Marin and said that she hopes to win the Gold in the Tokyo Games.

“Life has really changed after Rio. It was my dream (to win an Olympic medal) and it has come true. So from now on I think responsibilities are more. It's going to get tougher. I need to stay focused and get back to training,” Sindhu told TOI in an exclusive interview.

PV Sindhu, who was bestowed with the most prestigious sports award in India, expressed her delight at receiving the award on the National Sports Day. She said, “It's been a great day for me - National Sports Day, receiving the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. I'm really happy about it.”

When Sindhu returned from Rio, she was welcomed with open arms in her home town Hyderabad. She was greeted with a long rally, where thousands of fans lined up on the road to celebrate her achievement.

“Yes, it's been hectic but then I'm really enjoying my victory, enjoying celebrating it. After landing in Hyderabad, the state governments of Andhra Pradesh and Telengana and the people gave me a grand welcome. I never thought there would be so much crowd showering so much love and affection, holding banners with my name and standing on the roads. It was very hot; I can tell you. I am very thankful to everybody because they all were so lovingly standing there, waving at me, shouting my name. In Rio, I had no idea that so much was happening. Since my return, many of them have been telling me 'you don't know how happy we are',” Sindhu said.

When asked whether this is what she started playing badminton for, she laughed and said, “No. When I started, I didn't think I would become a great player. It was my passion, I had interest. My parents supported me. In that way I continued.”

The badminton star also spoke about how the fact that she comes from a family which has a sporting background has helped her pursue her career.

“Yes, it has been very helpful. My parents have been volleyball players and my dad is an Arjuna awardee in volleyball. Whenever and wherever I wanted to go, they always accompanied me. I think they have really worked hard and made huge sacrifices. Anytime I lose matches, they tell me 'it's okay, never mind'. It really helps,” Sindhu explained.

Despite Sindhu's success in Rio, PV Sindhu's coach Pullela Gopichand has insisted that his student is still far from being a finished product. When asked if this irks her, Sindhu replied, “It doesn't irritate me. One tournament win doesn't make you perfect. I have learnt many things, but there's more to learn. Every day is a new start. I know I won an Olympic (medal), but I feel there's more to learn, lot more.”

The 21-year-old also recalled the Olympic final against Carolina Marin. She said, “In the final I was confident and even Gopi sir believed that I could do it. The match started off well. Even though I was trailing, I came back and won the first game. Recently I had won against Carolina (Marin) in Denmark, but then I lost to her recently in another tournament. Overall it was three games but then tough games. After winning the first game, I knew that she would come back hard. After all, it's the Olympic final. In the third game, I was trailing but then I made it 10-all, and after that I just gave away 3-4 points in a row. She maintained that lead and finished it off. Had I won those three points... well who knows, the result might have been different,” reported ToI.

She signed off saying that she will try to go one better at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. “Yes, definitely, but it's not so easy. Definitely I will try my level best to get the gold in Tokyo,” Sindhu added.

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