Asked about who she considers the toughest opponent, Indian badminton ace and two-time Olympic medal winner PV Sindhu offered a reply that portrayed the champion’s pragmatic poise.
“I feel nobody is tough; and anybody is beatable (sic). Who plays best on the day wins,” said Sindhu, inspiring the audience on the first session on 6th May, the second day of Goafest 2022. She was in conversation with Television sports presenter and actor Samir Kochchar.
Sindhu’s Olympic medals came in Rio 2016 (Silver) and Tokyo 2020 (Bronze). On which of the two was tougher, she noted that the two were drastically different experiences with Rio being her first Olympics. But Tokyo presented a different set of challenges.
Sindhu revealed, “At Tokyo, there were a lot of expectations. If I were to pick one, Tokyo was much harder.” The Tokyo Games were also postponed by a year, she reminded.
‘More Time To Train’
“We trained really hard, we waited for four years. Then they told us the Olympics were postponed. For a while, during the pandemic, we had no place to train. It was really bad and we understood that we all had to be careful. But the government was kind enough to give us permission to train. Even after going to the Olympics, it was really hard (with frequent Covid testing and protocols). Imagine going into the semi-final and turning Covid positive,” explained Sindhu.
She would rather view the delay of a year positively, noted Sindhu: she had more time to train.
The Breakthrough Year
For the shuttler who has done India proud, representing India is something she is proud of.
She added, “I started playing international tournaments when I was 16. Representing India was a very big thing for me. 2012 was a very big breakthrough year. I played an Olympic champion and beat her. Then I thought, if she can be an Olympic champion, why can’t I?”
When she played the Olympics for the first time, she lost in the final to number one seed Carolina Marin. But was very proud to have won, she underlines. saying: “People told me, ‘You didn’t lose Gold. You won Silver.’”
“Winning and losing is a part of life. You can’t stop that. It’s just that when you lose, you have to go back, and come back stronger,” surmised Sindhu, receiving spontaneous applause from the audience.