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SportBadmintonTokyo Olympics: I am on cloud nine, says PV Sindhu

Tokyo Olympics: I am on cloud nine, says PV Sindhu

Published: 1st Aug 2021 6:46 pm

Hyderabad: P V Sindhu is a special athlete and she has proved it yet again. Having lost to Tai Tzu Ying in the semifinals, the Indian star wanted to make amends in the bronze medal match and she did it in style. Not for nothing is Sindhu held in high regard for her exploits on the court. The lanky shuttler has never returned empty-handed from big events when it matters.

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In the last four World Championships, she bagged two bronze, one silver and one gold medal. On Sunday, she won the bronze at the Tokyo Olympic Games beating He Bing Jiao 21-13, 21-15 to add to her collection of medals, including the silver she had won in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

In the process, the 26-year-old became the second Indian sportsperson after wrestler Sushil Kumar to win two individual Olympic medals. It also gave India the third medal after lifter Mirabai Chanu and boxer Lovlina Borgohain. Sindhu’s win makes her the third woman athlete to bring glory to the country in this edition of the Olympics.

There was a lot of emotion that went into the match. Coach Park Tae-Sang was constantly egging Sindhu to remain cool and focus on the game. “I had to control my emotions for this match,’’ she said.

Sindhu soaked in the pressure and went about her business. She was confident right from the start and remained unruffled even during the crucial stages of the game. Completely focussed on accomplishing her mission, Sindhu said she enjoyed the moment of winning the bronze. “I’m on cloud nine. I’m going to enjoy this moment. My family has worked hard for me and put in a lot of effort so I’m very thankful. And my sponsors have given me their best so I’d like to thank them and enjoy the moment.”

About the match, Sindhu said it was a fresh game. “We both (Bing Jio) had losses yesterday. For us, it was very important in getting a medal for the country. There were really long rallies but I had to be patient. Even though I was leading, I did not relax,” she said.

In Sunday’s match, Sindhu was in control. She set up a good pace and was quick on the court. Her well-placed and deceptive strokes had Bing Jiao on the wrong foot. The Chinese too matched Sindhu with her strokes, but Sindhu was the better player displaying her wide range of strokes.

Former national coach Bhaskar Babu said Sindhu was very patient. “She showed that she was determined. She led from the start and played the mind game beautifully. She played a lot of crosscourt shots that troubled the Chinese player. Sindhu was very good at the net with her dribbles. Add to that she mixed the strokes with a lot of variation and did not allow Bing to attack.”

As the match progressed, Sindhu’s game went on to get better. “She started reading the game nicely and caught the bird early at the net and from 11-8 lead, she marched ahead to win the first game,” said Babu.

In the second game too Sindhu had the better of exchanges at the start. She played the flicks and drives to a nicety and with tight netplay, kept the Chinese at bay. However, Sindhu faltered by hitting wide and long before she led 11-9 at the breather. On resumption, Sindhu regained her touch and raced away to victory.

“She forced Bing Jio to make unforced errors by playing at the back of the court. There were a couple of delightful crosscourt and sliced-half smashes. Bing Jiao tried to change the tactics and played at a good pace. She even had Sindhu off guard with two backhand pushes. But Sindhu regained her composure and fired away winners to get home.”

This is the second bronze medal in badminton after Saina Nehwal had become the first shuttler to win a medal at the 2012 London Olympics.

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