Hyderabad: Much before she landed in Basel (Switzerland), the newly-crowned champion Pusarla Venkata Sindhu had said she will definitely change the colour of the medal from silver to gold. Today, the 24-year-old shuttler made history when she became the first Indian to win the World Championships gold.
In a devastating display of badminton, Sindhu decimated third seed Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-7, 21-13 in one of the most one-sided women’s singles in a major event.
An emotional Sindhu said she won for the country after the completion of the final in mere 38 minutes. “I feel very, very proud to be an Indian.’’
The 24-year-old also did not forget her coach Kim and Gopichand for their contributions in her journey to the top. “Big thanks to my coach Kim and also Gopi sir and the whole support staff.
Today being her mother, Vijaya’s birthday, Sindhu dedicated the medal to her. “I dedicate this gold to my mom. It is her birthday. Happy birthday Mom.’’
For father PV Ramana, who is the cog behind Sindhu’s phenomenal success, it was a victory possible through meticulous planning and hardwork.
“I always believed that she would conquer the world. Today, she made me very proud. I had tears in my eyes. She missed the gold very narrowly twice but today she was on top from the first point.’’
This win means a lot for Sindhu as she had lost in the final of World Championship (2017 and 2018) twice and in Rio Olympics in 2016. But Sindhu was in a punishing mood and signalled the last point by looking towards the sky. “Last year, I lost in the final so it is a very important win.’’
It was Mission Basel for Ramana. He was determined that her daughter becomes the world’s best badminton player. Apart from her strenuous schedule at the Indian training camp at Gachibowli, Sindhu trained vigorously at Suchitra Badminton Academy in Kompally under fitness trainer Srikanth and the physios.
Pradeep Raju of Suchitra Academy said that her father was worried about her daughter’s decline in her performances. “We analysed her game and realized that she was playing rally game instead of her usual aggressive game. Those vital changes were made in the last two months. It was very scientific. We tried the Chinese methods like cupping theory for faster recovery of her body. If you see in this World championship, Sindhu was one of the fittest players on the court.
“There were few technical changes in her game. The body was moving faster as the court-based fitness training made her an attacking player. The subtle movements and aggression surprised the opponents.’’
Sindhu finally realised her her dream. Gopichand always believed Sindhu has the speed, power, skills, endurance and a never-say-die attitude to conquer the world.
Former chief National coach SM Arif, who predicted Sindhu will be world champion in 2013, said “My prediction finally came true today.’’