What a day for Indian badminton! Pusarla Venkata Sindhu wiped out her ‘bridesmaid’ and ‘chokers’ tag on super Sunday at Basel, Switzerland, at the BWF World Championships. Switzerland is the home of eminent tennis star Roger Federer, and it seems Sidhu took some leaves from the book of Federer to remain calm like a cucumber and played with steely determination on the court to clinch the final.
Breaking the jinx
The world No. 5 broke the jinx in her third attempt and created history to become the first Indian shuttler to win a gold at BWF World Championships. Apart from this, she has joined the coveted list of most successful woman shuttler at the world meet, by bagging 5 medals in her 6 appearances. Sindhu has joined the Chinese shuttler Zhang Ning for gracing the most number of podiums.
Sunday feast for sports lovers
Sunday, August 25, 2019 was a real feast for sports lovers. The 24-year old Hyderabadi girl erased her 2017 memory and wrapped up the final against old foe Nozomi Okuhara 21-7, 21-7 in an unbelievable 38 minutes.
Debate was in the air before the final on Sindhu’s temperament, nerve and handling of pressure in the big matches. The Olympic silver medallist erased her past, including the loss of 2017 World Championship against the same opponent. Two years ago, in the sea-saw battle, the two shuttlers sweat it out for 110 minutes. That was arguably the longest final played in the history of the tournament. In spite of fighting gallantly, Sindhu had to settle for a silver medal. The agony of that loss must have surely been haunting Sindhu’s mind.
A promising background
P.V. Sindhu alias Pusarla Venkata Sindhu was born on July 5, 1995, to P.V. Ramana and P. Vijaya in Hyderabad. She was born in a sporting family. Her parents were volleyball players. Her father represented India in the 1986 Seoul Asian Games in South Korea, and in fact is an Arjuna awardee.
After finishing her schooling from Auxilium High School, Secunderabad, she graduated from St. Ann’s college for women, Mehdipatnam in commerce stream.
PV Sindhu started playing badminton at the tender age of six. Sindhu learnt her basic badminton at the Indian Railway Institute at Secunderabad, under the guidance of coach Mehboob Ali. In 2004, Sindhu moved to Pullela Gopichand’s Academy and started polishing her game. And she had fire in her belly to reach the pinnacle since childhood.
She tasted her first success in the under 13 level sub-junior badminton tournament held in Puducherry. Since then, success has been kissing her feet. At the international level, she clinched her maiden bronze medal in 2009 sub-junior badminton championship held in Colombo.
On Sunday in Basel, Sindhu played like a true champion and never allowed her opponent to settle down. Instead, she quickly outplayed her Japanese counterpart and became the world champion in style. It was indeed one-way traffic. While Sindhu was blazing from all corners of the court, Okuhara had nothing to answer except a little smog. It looked as if she was watching Sindhu’s fast and furious game like a mere spectator.
Sindhu had a game plan and cornered the pint-sized Japanese shuttler without much fuss. It seemed she reserved her best for the final against Okuhara, who was clueless against the aggressive and attacking approach by the India shuttler. The most important part of the final was that Sindhu never let her aggression dip throughout the match and had full authority in rallies, smashes and drops shots. In the end, the newly crowned badminton queen conquered her Japanese counterpart with ease.
Victory cry by Sindhu
Sindhu’s immaculate display put pressure on Okuhara from the word go. Her dominating game made her opponent bite the dust on the court. She was hitting the winners at will and clinched the title in her name in a short span of time. The moment she seized her last point, her victory cry was replete with a lot of pain and anguish to put behind her previous losses.
After the match, Sindhu said “Honestly, I was expecting a harsh battle, given Okuhara’s reputation. But, I am happy that I could peak at the right time and never really let the lead slip away.”
Most precious gift for mom
She further added “Yes, this is the most precious gift I could give to my mother who is celebrating her birthday today and I dedicate this win to my parents, grandparents, coaches, all the support staff at the Gopi Academy and fellow-players who have always been there with me.”
She also thanked the crowd for supporting her throughout the tournament. She said, “The crowd support was absolutely brilliant. There were so many Indians who were backing me. I am grateful to all of them.”
PV Sindhu’s triumph over Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara at the world championship final showed her grit and gruelling workout at the Gopichand Academy. Her curiosity and eagerness to win the title was so high that she had stopped using her mobile for the last two months. At present, the difference among the top ranked players is very marginal. She should not take this emphatic victory for granted though. Sindhu is young and energetic and has the passion to go ahead and bring more laurels to the country.
PV Sindhu has been playing her best and most consistent badminton at this moment. The remarkable aspect with Sindhu is that she has hunger, grit and determination to go ahead. She showed her great skill, fitness and mental toughness throughout the world championships.
Eye on 2020 Olympics
Sindhu must now be eyeing the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. If she produces the same sort of display in Tokyo, then sports lovers of India will surely be rewarded with the sight of a gold medal around her neck. She along with wrestler Bajrang Punia, boxer Mary Kom and many other budding athletes, is a front runner for a medal haul in the next Olympics. Sindhu’s victory is being hailed as a huge encouragement for other sportspersons in the country to aspire to stand on the highest podium in major international events. Sindhu has undoubtedly changed the complexion of badminton in the cricket dominated country.