Sindhu's parents and their sacrifice

Sindhu’s sterling achievement would not have been possible, but for the unwavering commitment of her father, P. V. Ramana, for more than 12 years. Even Sindhu's mother, Vijayalakshmi, gave up her job to look after her daughter's needs.

Sindhu's mother Vijayalakshmi and father Ramana watch their daughter's semifinal match on television in Hyderabad.   -  PTI

As the country and the badminton fraternity is basking in the glory of Pusarla Venkata Sindhu’s >stupendous feat in the Rio Olympics, let's take a look at the role her father, the 53-year-old P.V. Ramana, an Arjuna awardee and member of the bronze medal-winning volleyball team at 1986 Seoul Asian Games, has played in the success.

Sindhu’s sterling achievement would not have been possible, but for the unwavering commitment of Ramana for more than 12 years.

“Waking up every day at 3 a.m. and taking Sindhu for training close to 12 years is not a joke. From Marredpally he used to drop and pick her (Sindhu) up from Gopichand’s Academy at Gachibowli, driving 60-km twice a day. Only recently he shifted close to Gopi’s academy,” says J. B. S. Vidyadhar, a former India doubles player.

For sports scribes who were present at the Sports Journalists Federation of India (SJFI) annual meet in Hyderabad in 2014, the single-minded focus of Ramana is still vivid in memory.

The organising committee had invited illustrious sportspersons like cricketer Mithali Raj, the Athletic Federation of India chief Adil Sumariwala, badminton coach S.M. Arif and P.V. Sindhu to share their experiences and preparation methods.

Knowing that Sindhu’s turn to speak would come only at a much later stage, Ramana apologised to the organisers and took Sindhu away as she needed to get up early for practice.

“When everybody was fast asleep they woke up for a cause. Ramana gave up everything for Sindhu. He used to follow his daughter like a shadow whereever she went to play. He was seen in Nellore, Ravulapalem, Bhimavaram, Chirala and Vijayawada during the State tournaments and national events. Ramana’s wife Vijayalakshmi sought voluntary retirement from the Railways to take care of her daughter's career,” says A. Chowdary, Joint Secretary, Badminton Association of India.