Having created history by becoming the first Indian shuttler to win an Olympic silver medal, P V Sindhu feels the limelight would now be trained on her and she needs to work harder with the added responsibility of living up to her new-found stature.
“From now on responsibilities (expectations) are high and everyone’s eyes are on me. This is just the beginning and I need to work harder,” said Sindhu after she was felicitated here, along with national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, by non-profit organisation Olympic Gold Quest, which has supported her from the age of 15.
“I feel very happy with my achievements. I was able to win back to back world championship medals. When I won that first bronze medal (in the world championship) I started to get recognised. And now responsibilities are high. Olympics is something which comes once in four years. There is a lot more to go,” said the 21-year-old from Hyderabad.
Sindhu lost to Spain’s reigning world champion and top seed Carolina Marin in three games in a pulsating final to settle for second place in the women’s singles at last month’s Rio Games which was the young shuttler’s first appearance in the quadrennial multi-sports spectacle.
“I am very happy. OGQ gave me great support at all times from the age of 15. I won the Maldives international tournament which started my journey. The infrastructure in the Gopichand Academy (in Hyderabad) has been phenomenal. What we have is more than enough,” said Sindhu whose parents - former volleyball internationals P V Ramana and Vijaya - were also honoured at the function.
“It was a good game overall. It was her (Carolina’s) day and she played well. From the first round it was very tough. There was no easy match. I took it one match at a time. Gopi Sir told me to give my best, play my game. He was always supporting and motivating me. I really worked hard and we worked out before every match,” Sindhu explained.
Looking ahead, Sindhu said her first competition would be the USD 700,000 Denmark Open Super Series Premier followed by the USD 300,000 Paris Open a week later.
“There are many tournaments coming up - the Dubai World Super Series finals (from December 14-18); and before that the Denmark Open and Paris (French Open),” she said.