» Sports » I was blank for few seconds: Sindhu on winning bronze

I was blank for few seconds: Sindhu on winning bronze

Source: PTI   -  Edited By: Harish Kotian
Last updated on: August 02, 2021 17:51 IST
Get Rediff News in your Inbox:

IMAGE: P V Sindhu celebrates after defeating China's He Bing Jiao in the women's bronze medal play-off match at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Reigning World champion P V Sindhu says she was completely blank after winning a second successive Olympic medal and it took her a while to realise the enormity of her historic achievement in the ongoing Games.


The 26-year-old Indian etched her name among the all-time greats on Sunday after winning badminton's women's singles bronze medal to add to the silver she won at Rio de Janeiro five years back. It made her the first Indian woman, and second overall, from the country to achieve the feat of winning two Olympic individual medals.

"...I was blank, my coach was literally in tears; it was a big moment. I hugged him and said 'Thank you'. I didn't know what to do for 5-6 seconds. I shouted, so all emotions came together at that moment," she said on Monday.

In the third-place play-off, Sindhu beat China's He Bing Jiao. The victory came after a painful loss in the semi-finals to world No 1 Tai Tzu Ying.

Sindhu said coach Park Tae-sang's encouragement helped her recover from the semi-final loss and claim bronze for the country.

"After semis, I was really sad. I was in tears, but my coach said it is not over yet. There were mixed emotions, if I should be sad or happy, but Park told one thing. He said, 'there is a lot of difference between a fourth position and a bronze' and that really hit me.

"I went with the mindset that I have to give my 100 percent and get that medal."

IMAGE: P V Sindhu with her South Korean coach, Park Tae-sang. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

A lot of questions were raised when Sindhu decided to move out of the Pullela Gopichand Academy and train at the Gachibowli indoor stadium in Hyderabad, which has bigger halls, similar to the venue in Tokyo.

Sindhu said it was one of the best decisions, especially since drift played a role during the Games at the Musashino Forest Plaza in Tokyo.

"Yeah, from the beginning there was no controversy. I mean, we had this opportunity to play in conditions similar to Olympics, so from February we have been playing there; it has really helped us because drift played a big role and I learnt a lot in Gachibowli; I learnt to control the shuttle better.

"It had international standard courts with air conditioners, which was important. So I feel it was the best decision...We also got used to different players from Suchitra academy also. It was important.

"Badminton Association of India and Sports Authority of India have also been very supportive, always."

Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu has revealed that Sindhu's words of encouragement after the medal ceremony left her in tears after she went down in the Olympics women's singles final.

Asked about the gesture, Sindhu said: "At the end of the day, when you play sports, you are opponents and you don't have that mercy; but when the match is over you come back to normal friendship and that's what matters at the end of the day.

"It takes couple of seconds or minutes to say 'hard luck' or just communicate and talk. That kind of communication is very important between sportsperson.

"When you lose and you see someone lose, you know how much it hurts, you understand the feeling. When Tai Tzu lost, I knew that she was sad, so I said it was not her day and enjoy the day. It was a small kind of talk with her and a hug."

In the last five years, Sindhu has worked with three different foreign coaches, including Indonesia's Mulyo Handoyo, Korea's Kim Ji Hyun and Park.

"I learnt a lot from each coach. It is good to learn new skills and utilise them whenever needed. They all were different, with different mindsets. I'm happy I have with me the knowledge that they taught me."

Sindhu also said she will want to continue training under Park, who was initially hired to train the men's singles players but started working with Sindhu after the abrupt departure of Kim Ji Hyun.

"I have known him for a long time when he was training with the Korean team... initially it took us time to get to know each other, about the conditions, but there was this dream to get an Olympic medal so we worked really hard.

"Especially in this pandemic... a lot of people suffered; he couldn't go home; he just went home for 13 days. So it is all his hard work and we finally got this medal back to the country.

"Park has been my coach for about a year-and-a-half, so yeah, I would love to continue with him as my coach."

Asked about her plans for the 2024 Paris Olympics, Sindhu laughed and said: "There is still time for Paris; let me just cherish the moment. I will give my best and give my percent."

Get Rediff News in your Inbox:
Source: PTI  -  Edited By: Harish Kotian© Copyright 2021 PTI. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PTI content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent.