Hyderabad: Not all dreams come true. But for city shuttler PV Sindhu it did. She fulfilled her cherished desire when she won the gold medal in the 2019 World championship. The Rio Games silver medallist has entrenched her heart on the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
Sindhu is determined and effuses that air of positivity and confidence. “I’m focussed on turning silver into gold, this time around”, the badminton stalwart said as she embarks on her rendezvous with Tokyo.
Sindhu is on a single-minded mission. If she has reached such a great stature, it is not with just hard work and dedication, but after a number of sacrifices. She had to give up on a lot of her favourite foods, like Hyderabadi biryani and ice cream to maintain her calorie count. She had to be without her mobile while training and travelling. It was only sweat, sweat and sweat. She has been pushing up her own levels.
With all eyes on Sindhu, the message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi must have been like a shot in the arm. Modi had asked for ice cream and biryani on her birthday on July 5. But Sindhu did have biryani and ice cream on her birthday. Father PV Ramana said it was her birthday so she had that luxury for a day.
The run-up to Tokyo had all the ingredients of a masala movie which had emotions, controversies and the Covid-19 ordeal. “It is sad the Games got postponed last year but we always thought life comes first. We were apprehensive at times whether the games would be held. With not much sporting activity, I used to train at home and once the lockdown was lifted we went to the training sessions at Gachibowli Stadium and Suchitra Academy although I missed the tournaments. Being in a bubble and being tested is difficult and different. I made sure I never missed the training session. During these limited training sessions, I got to learn new techniques and skills. Now, I’m all geared up for Tokyo Olympics.’’
Sindhu revealed that she didn’t read books or papers, she usually would look for quotes for inspiration. “When you have a goal and aim, it motivates you. It zeroes down to hard work. Everybody dreams to win a medal in Olympics and be No.1. I have been waiting for five years and surely I would like to add the Olympics gold to the World Championship gold.’’
A big fan of Novak Djokovic, Sindhu said: “I saw his final match. He is very calm but it is mental toughness that makes him one of the legends of sports. His physical fitness is supreme and maintaining that at the highest level at this age is the hallmark of a great player. People like Djokovic, Serena, Federer are inspiration to the younger generation.’’
According to Sindhu a lot of mental toughness was required during this Covid-19 phase. “We went through a lot of emotions. In this pandemic, we always wondered what would happen next as few got into depression. It is here the challenge comes, by staying positive. I did a lot of painting in the lockdown. It was a recreation for me after the grinding training sessions. I also got a new pet and I play with him.’’
Sindhu stated that her schedule is tight. “I get up at 6, go for training at 7 am by that come back home at 10 and relax with the dog. I again go for training at 2.30 pm and return home by 7 pm. I control myself from any luxury food item. Once in a while I enjoy my ice cream. I make sure I control my weight.’’
On one billions fans’ expectations, Sindhu pointed out it is a big compliment as a lot of people are taking inspiration from her. “It is a beautiful feeling. I feel Oh my God the hopes that they have is unbelievable. The happiness they get definitely makes my day. I want to win gold for the country. It is everybody’s dream. It will not be easy. I worked hard and I’m confident. I’m prepared for every challenge.’’
Asked if there are any changes from the Rio Games, Sindhu said the aggressive shout will be there.”I have also worked on skills and technique. You are going to see that. Coach Park (Tae-Sung) is a quiet man. He observes your game minutely, particularly on match situations. I’m still an aggressive player. I’m a more mature player as I have grown five years older. Gold is my goal.’’
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