Hyderabad: A day after all the glory when she made history by winning her second medal in the Olympics, a beaming PV Sindhu was back, this time in front of the excited Indian media through a video call press conference from Tokyo. Sitting alongside her was the Korean coach Park Tae-sang.
Sindhu, who won silver in Rio Games, in her talk, mentioned about the emotions and the drama after winning the last point against China’s He Bing Jiao for the bronze medal. “…I was blank, my coach was literally in tears. It was a big moment. I hugged him and said ‘Thank you’. I didn’t know what to do for 5-6 seconds, I shouted, so all emotions came together at that moment,’’ she said.
She said she was in tears when she lost to World No.1 Tai Tzu Ying in the semifinals. But playing the bronze match was very difficult than the semifinals match and in this aspect she praised Park for lifting her morale.
“After the semis, I was really sad, I was in tears but my coach said it is not over yet. There were mixed emotions, if I should be sad or happy but Park said one thing. He said ‘there is a lot of difference between a fourth position and a bronze’ and that really hit me,” she said.
On her new relationship with coach Park, Sindhu said she has known since long while he was training with the Korean team. “Initially it took us time to get to know each other, about the conditions but there was this dream to get an Olympic medal so we worked really hard.’’
She revealed that Covid-19 pandemic had upset the training programme and her coach could stay at his home in Korea for just 13 days. “So it is all his hard work and we finally got this medal back to the country. He (Park) has been my coach for about a year and a half, so yeah, I would love to continue with him as my coach.”
Asked on the major decision to move out of the Pullela Gopichand Academy, Sindhu said: “I went with the mindset that I have to give my 100 percent and get that medal.”
She felt it was one of the best decisions to be made to train at Gachibowli indoor stadium.
“Yeah, from the beginning there was no controversy, I mean, we had this opportunity to play in conditions similar to Olympics, so from February we have been playing there, it has really helped us because drift played a big role and I learnt a lot in Gachibowli, I learnt to control the shuttle better. So I feel it was the best decision…We also got used to different players from Suchitra academy also. It was important.’’
On wishing Tai even she lost to her, Sindhu said: “At the end of the day, when you play sports, you are opponents and you don’t have that mercy but when the match is over you come back to normal friendship and that’s what matters at the end of the day.’’
The next Olympics is in Paris 2024, with a smile Sindhu said: “Let me just cherish the moment.’’
‘Gopi sir messaged me but Saina no’
P V Sindhu on Monday said she received congratulatory message from chief national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand but she has not got any such gesture yet from senior shuttler Saina Nehwal following her bronze medal winning feat at the Olympics.
Sindhu, the reigning world champion, on Sunday became only the second Indian and first woman from the country to claim two Olympics medals, after she won a bronze in Tokyo, five years after claiming a silver at Rio Games.
Asked if she received any communication from Gopichand and Saina after her win, Sindhu said: “Of course, Gopi sir wished me congrats. That’s all. I haven’t seen the social media. I am slowly replying to everybody. When further probed, Sindhu said: “Gopi sir messaged me, Saina no. We don’t talk much, so….”
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