Sindhu chases the 'Olympic dream'

"It is not just about dreaming and making a token appearance. The intention is to come back with a medal, even as we are all aware that it is not going to be easy," said P. V. Sindhu ahead of the Olympics.

P. V. Sindhu hopes to win a medal at the grandest sporting stage of all -- the Olympics.   -  PTI

P. V. Sindhu has come a long way. From watching Saina Nehwal win the 2012 London Olympics bronze as a 16-year-old, she's now tipped to win a medal in next month’s Rio Olympics.

“The biggest dream I am chasing now is an Olympic medal. I remember watching Saina in London. Then I was ranked around 25. I always longed to be there and I am all excited to represent India in Rio,” said Sindhu, ranked 10th in the world.

“It is not just about dreaming and making a token appearance. The intention is to come back with a medal, even as we are all aware that it is not going to be easy,” she said.

After suffering a foot injury in 2015, she attached special soles to her shoes that wouldn't affect her game. “You have to be at your best in every aspect of the game as I would be up against the top guns in the Olympics."

“Executing my strategy on the court against a specific opponent in any given scenario will be the key to success,” she said, “For sure, even the lower ranked players at the Olympics will not make things easy for you. You have to earn every win.”

Sindhu has lost to lower-ranked players even as she has beaten opponents ranked higher. But the 21-year-old isn't worried about inconsistency. “Yes, consistency right through an event is the key. That is what the coach [Gopi Chand] and I are working on.”

The three-time Macau Open winner felt that being one of the two biggest prospects in women’s singles for an Olympic medal can be a huge motivation for her. She, however, said: “I don’t want to think too much in this regard. I just want to go out and play to the best of my ability."

Asked to name some of the tough challengers she would likely face in the Olympics, Sindhu said, “World number eight Tai Tzu Ying can be a dangerous proposition as her game is completely different from others. But, again, you can’t choose your opponents.

“I have my own advantages and disadvantages with my height. Now they [opponents] don’t really give you time to attack. So you can’t enter the court with only one game-plan.

“You have to keep changing your strategies for the same players sometimes for they might not come up with the same style of play,” she added.

Sindhu said that being in the 2015 Denmark Open finalist [where she lost to Li Xuerui] and winning the Macau Open last November has made her confident ahead of the Olympics.