Sindhu's parents all praise for Gopi

P.V. Sindhu's parents Ramana and Vijaya dedicated their famous daughter’s triumphant march into the women’s singles final of the Rio Olympics in badminton to the chief national coach Pullela Gopichand.

P.V. Sindhu's family watches the live telecast of the Indian shuttler's semifinal match, at the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad on Thursday.   -  G. Ramakrishna

The visibly delighted parents of P.V. Sindhu – P.V. Ramana and P. Vijaya – dedicated their famous daughter’s triumphant march into the women’s singles final of the Rio Olympics in badminton to the chief national coach Pullela Gopichand.

Speaking immediately after Sindhu was assured of at least a silver medal by virtue of reaching the final, Ramana said only his family knew what kind of efforts Gopi had put in once he felt that Sindhu had the potential to be a world-beater.

“Sindhu loved the badminton court and always wanted to be there. This is what really impressed Gopi and we are all grateful to the champion coach,” Ramana said. “Today’s performance was the result of all the hard work put in by Gopi and his support staff at the Gopichand Academy,” he added.

Ramana revealed that another person had a major role to play in Sindhu's success story — Gopi’s young son Vishnu. “He used to come every day at 4.30 am and help Sindhu in mastering the dribbles at the net. Not many are aware of this,” he pointed out.

“We were always confident of today’s win given the way Sindhu has been playing in the Olympics. Like everyday, today also we went to the temple to perform pooja and will do the same before the final with the hope that she will win the Olympic medal,” Sindhu's mother Vijaya said.

Sindhu's parents and sister Sarada watched the semifinal in the company of Gopi’s wife Lakshmi at the Gopichand Academy in Hyderabad

“I can only say that I played a very minor role in Sindhu’s success story. Whenever she complained off too much of workload in a lighter vein, I used to gently tell her that her coach Gopi is doing it to get the best results, and then cracked a joke or two to keep the spirits high,” Lakshmi, who was the first Indian woman to play badminton at the Olympics, revealed.

“I believe that Sindhu is playing the best game of her career in Olympics. She is very composed even when under pressure and not making too many unforced errors. And she is a big gold medal hope now for India in the final,” Lakshmi said.

Gopi’s mother Subbaravamma said that Sindhu’s stunning performance is a victory for all Indians. “Like all of us here, the entire country is proud of Sindhu and we all hope for one more big win and a gold in the final,” she said, amidst cheers.

Ironically, Sindhu's parents couldn't watch her win the final point in the semifinals as journalists and cameramen scurried to get the first sound bytes. “It doesn’t matter. We are here to celebrate a famous win. I am delighted that Sindhu has done one better than any other Indian shuttler in Olympics history and we are looking for the golden finish now,” a jubilant Ramana said.