P. V. Sindhu said she had a dream phase in Rio which culminated in the women’s singles final appearance against World No. 1 Carolina Marin on Friday night.
In an exclusive interview to Sportstar before leaving for India, the Olympic Games silver medallist said: “Yes, I played the best game of my career and more importantly consistently right through the Olympics.”
“I must thank Gopi sir for all the planning before the matches and I am I glad that I could live up to his expectations. Honestly, I never felt the pressure of being there in my maiden Olympics. Yes, the aura was amazing and it was an unforgettable feeling to move around in Rio though we did not get enough time to spend long hours out there,” the 21-year-old champion shuttler said.
Sindhu, whose mobile phone and iPad were seized by coach Gopichand till the completion of the tournament, revealed that she was struggling to reply back to thousands of congratulatory messages. “Whatever he advised was for my good and I am fortunate to have such a dedicated coach with me,” she said to a query.
Sindhu said she could stay focussed in all the matches as she was able to shut herself out from any thoughts. “Once I entered the court, my only job was to get the better of the opponent. I am really happy that everything fell in place as far as my game was concerned,” she pointed out.
“No match was easy in Rio Olympics and apparently, no one can take things for granted. What pleased me is the consistency and the all-round game I could display. Yes, the emphasis on net dribbles and drops during training helped me a lot,” Sindhu said.
“I don’t think I can pin point whether any one particular match was the turning point when I felt I could win a medal. For, the whole approach was to take it match by match and not think too much ahead,” the two-time World championship bronze medallist remarked.
The shuttler said she didn't feel any extra pressure once the big names Saina Nehwal and Kidambi Srikanth were out of reckoning. “I was aware of the expectations but luckily I could stay focussed. Thanks to Gopi sir again, his constant words of encouragement and invaluable inputs on each of the opponent were quite naturally a great help to me,” Sindhu explained.
“This is a dream come true for me in my first Olympics. Could have been better if it were to be gold but Marin played a great game in the final,” the Hyderabad girl said.
“Well, no regrets. I had given my best and got what is destined,” Sindhu said, recollecting that she dreamt of being in Olympics after watching Saina Nehwal in action.
Sindhu reiterated that she wanted to dedicate the Rio Olympics silver to her coach and her parents (P. V. Ramana and P. Vijaya). “And I must thank all those millions of supporters including all those who were praying for my success. I am really eager to meet my parents and share my moments of triumph,” she said.
What has been her most defining moment in Rio Olympics? “Without doubt, it was when I stood on the podium and was presented the silver medal, with the tricolour flying high,” a delighted Sindhu said. “It was very difficult to control my emotions then. What a great feeling it was in my first Olympics. A dream come true finish,” she signed off.
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