The fact that she's (Saina) done it before is all the inspiration I need: P V Sindhu

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Image Courtesy: © Facebook - P V Sindhu

The fact that she's (Saina) done it before is all the inspiration I need: P V Sindhu

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Amlan Majumdar

05/07/2016

Heading for her first-ever Olympics, P V Sindhu called fellow shuttler and 2012 Olympics bronze-medalist Saina Nehwal an inspiration and hoped to learn from her fighting spirit. The 20-year old, however, said that there will be no love lost if she has to face Saina on court at the quadrennial event.

In an exclusive to DNAnaIndia, Sindhu said, "The fact that she's done it before is all the inspiration I need. She has a very good fighting spirit every time she sets foot on court. You have to learn this from her. Being her third appearance at the Olympics, I haven't spoken to her about what it's like to play there. I haven't even seen her medal”.

Reminiscing about Saina's win four years back at the London Olympics and the glorious reception she received at home, Sindhu added, "I remember I didn't see the match live since I was playing an U-16 tournament in Hyderabad. I remember the reception Saina got at the airport and when she came to the academy (Gopichand Badminton Academy). And yes, I did think that one day I might get the chance to receive the same and here's my shot now".

Sindhu talked about how she has come through as a top-level player and described her intentions going into the Olympics. "From an U-16 kid watching Saina win bronze to being the second woman to represent the country in the singles, I feel I have come a long way," she told DNAna.

Placing the Olympics above the World Championships where she bagged two back-to-back bronze medals while still in her teens, Sindhu said, "Yes, it is way bigger than the World Championships. It's the ultimate goal for any athlete and dream to win an Olympic medal. You know that you're at the Olympics and need that extra bit in you to do better than other tournaments. But I really don't know what I am going to feel until I step out on the court. It all begins from the first round itself because you may be nervous, you may not be. I can't really tell”.

However, she has had to contend with an injury after the initial successes and is yet to match them after the recovery. Speaking about the competitive fray at the quadrennial event, "Yes, I will definitely (play more Olympics) but I can't go there thinking that it's my first Olympics. (Carolina, 22) Marin and Ratchanok (Intanon, 21) are in the same age bracket as me, so I don't see that as a problem. Age doesn't matter when you consider the fact that these two are going to be the strongest medal candidates in our category," the Hyderabadi lass added.

Sindhu will be participating at Rio as part of the biggest badminton contingent India have managed to send alongside Saina, Kidambi Srikanth and the men's and women's doubles pairs. "It's great that seven players have been selected for the Olympics. Jwala (Gutta) and Ashwini (Ponnappa), in women's doubles, have been there before but it's Olympics debut for Manu (Attri) and Sumeeth (Reddy) in men's doubles. Someone who is as excited as me is Kidambi (Srikanth) in men's singles. It's his first time as well," said Sindhu to DNA.

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