P. V. Sindhu: World Championship gold a confidence-booster ahead of Olympics qualification cycle

P. V. Sindhu says winning the gold medal at the World Championship last week will give her the confidence ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualification cycle.

World champion P. V. Sindhu at a felicitation function organised by Majesstine Sports.   -  K. Murali Kumar

After the World Championship win firmly established P.V. Sindhu’s status as one of India’s foremost sporting superstars, the last week has been all about the 24-year-old soaking up the fans’ adulation. It was no different on Sunday at a felicitation function organised by Majesstine Sports, where she was nearly mobbed amid an unending clamour for autographs and selfies.

“I have to be very thankful because everywhere I go, people are congratulating me and the reception has been fantastic,” said an elated Sindhu “It feels very nice. I have been waiting for this win for a long time. After two bronzes and two silvers, it’s finally a gold. So I am very happy.”

Coming as it does at the start of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics qualification cycle, the success was all the more important, the World No. 5 felt. “Going into this year, we all have to be very focussed. It is very important for us to play each tournament really well. It [the victory] will give me the required confidence and boost to move into a higher level now.”

Read: Kim Ji Hyun: The Korean hand in Sindhu's world domination

During the course of her triumph in Basel, Sindhu managed to arrest a six-match losing streak to her nemesis Tai Tzu Ying, the wizard from Chinese Taipei. At both the World Tour Finals last November and the World Championships now, Sindhu beat the World No.3 in tough encounters that went the distance.

Seen alongside the fact that she has a winning record against the rest of the top-5 --  10-6 over Akane Yamaguchi, 6-3 over Chen Yu Fei and 9-7 over Nozomi Okuhara -- it augurs well.

“I have been changing a few things,” Sindhu stated. “It is important because at every tournament a player comes with new strategies and new strokes. In the women’s circuit, everybody has a different style of play. I need to strategise so that I can be equally strong.”

As she sets her sights on the Olympic gold, Sindhu was mindful of not letting the pressure get to her. “Responsibility is always there. I just need to go on to the court and give my best rather than taking more pressure. If you think you have to win for them and because everybody is expecting a lot, that would add pressure. It is better to go into a mindset that you need to give the best just for yourself.”