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PV Sindhu First Indian woman to win two Olympic medals

by Navyatha Sandiri
PV Sindhu

PV Sindhu, the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals, says it’s a great sensation that hasn’t quite hit her yet. The great badminton player won a bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics after winning silver in the Rio Olympics.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • PV Sindhu became the second Indian to win two individual Olympic medals, following Sushil Kumar.
  • PV Sindhu made history as she became the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals.
  • It’s still sinking in that I’m a two-time Olympic medalist: Sindhu

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PV Sindhu, the best badminton player India has ever produced, is without a doubt the greatest athlete India has ever produced.

At the Tokyo Olympics, the 27-year-old made history by becoming only the second Indian and the country’s first woman to win two Olympic medals. Sindhu won bronze after defeating the world no. 9 in straight games. In the badminton women’s singles third-place play-off, China’s He Bing Jiao came in third. Sindhu won the match in straight games, 21-13, 21-15.

The ace shuttler currently has a total of seven medals from the World Championships and Olympics, which is tied for the most by a female singles player. She has a tie with Zhang Ning of China. Sindhu has one gold, two silvers, and two bronzes at the World Championships in addition to her two Olympic medals.

PV Sindhu, who still can’t believe she’s won two Olympic medals, spoke with us about how this bronze has piqued her interest in winning more. She also expressed her thoughts on moving to Gachhibowli Stadium ahead of the Olympics and working with Park Tae-sang.

What does it mean to you to be the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals?

I mean, I’m still at a loss for words. It’s such a great occasion for me, and to be able to earn a medal for India once more is incredible. And that sensation hasn’t entirely settled in yet.

What did you tell yourself after you temporarily trailed in the second game after the interval, looking back on that bronze medal match? (You were 11-8 and then 11-11 all of a sudden.)

I had the confidence and self-assurance to recover from that situation. So I made the decision to remain calm and composed while concentrating on winning one point at a time.

PV Sindhu

Is it starting to sink in that you’re a two-time Olympic medalist?

It’s a wonderful sensation, and I keep thinking to myself, ‘I just won an Olympic medal; I did it again.’ It’s the culmination of five years of consistent hard work that has paid off. This will inspire me to strive even harder and achieve much more.

What parts of your game did coach Park Tae-sung focus on that paid off the most?

We spent more than a year working with Park on improving key skill sets. He’s also a passionate, inspiring, and encouraging coach, which has helped me gain confidence and prepare for the future. Finally, this medal was a dream come true for both of us, and we were victorious.

There was a lot of talk and disagreement about your move to Gachibowli Stadium. Could you perhaps describe your reasoning for making this choice?

The state government granted me permission to train at Gachibowli throughout the outbreak. It was advantageous. It made it easier for me to operate the shuttle, and I believe the stadium is similar to many international stadiums, as well as the Tokyo Stadium. As a result, that decision aided my technique and training.

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What impact does a medal-winning Indian athlete have on the rest of the Indian delegation in the Games village?

I believe the entire Indian contingent was ecstatic to have progressed thus far. And everyone is always rooting for one another because watching a fellow Indian succeed and bring home a medal is both encouraging and motivating. When an Indian athlete wins, it is unquestionably a source of pride for everyone.

In Tokyo, your bronze has kept the Indian badminton banner soaring. What do you think of the contingent’s overall performance?

At the end of the day, I believe the Olympics are everyone’s goal, and everyone gave it their all to make their country proud.

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