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'You will definitely see a different Sindhu' in Tokyo

Source: PTI
July 25, 2021 11:16 IST
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'I have worked hard and given all my heart all of these years and I think it's time to show now.'

India's Pusarla V. Sindhu competes during her women's singles first round match against Israel's Ksenia Polikarpova at the Tokyo Olympics

IMAGE: India's Pusarla V. Sindhu competes during her women's singles first round match against Israel's Ksenia Polikarpova at the Tokyo Olympics, at Musashino Forest Sport Plaza, in Chofu, Tokyo, on Sunday. Photograph: Lintao Zhang/Getty Images

Indian badminton ace Pusarla Sindhu promised a very "different" version of herself after getting off to a rousing start at the Tokyo Olympics on Sunday.

Five years ago, she was not considered a medal prospect, but stunned the world with a stellar run which ended with an unprecedented silver medal on her Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro.

 

However, this time around, the 26-year-old from Hyderabad is India's biggest hope for a gold medal at Tokyo.

"Mentally, physically and experience-wise, a lot has changed. Coming to (Tokyo) 2020 is completely different; back then there were no expectations," the reigning World champion said, after making a winning start to her campaign with a 21-7, 21-10  win over Israel's Ksenia Polikarpova.

"I know that I have worked hard and given all my heart all of these years and I think it's time to show now. I've been working on my aggression and my technique and you will definitely see a different Sindhu."

The soft-spoken Indian ace was not known for her aggression till five years back and it was chief national coach Pullela Gopichand who transformed her into an aggressive player ahead of the Rio Games.

It reaped dividend as Sindhu weaved a series of stunning performances to claim the silver.

"It's always nice to get that medal back then at Rio," Sindhu, seeded sixth, said.

"Tokyo is a fresh start, I would say. It's always important to just be ready every single day because you can't expect that you will again be a medallist.

"It's not like that because everybody is going to be on their top form and nobody is going to give it away easily."

 The Tokyo Olympics is being held without any spectators due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Sindhu said she will miss crowd support.

"I'm sure I'm going to miss the crowd and spectators but I'm sure everybody (back home) is giving me that support and showing me their love and hoping for the best to happen."

Sindhu will next face Hong Kong's world number 34 Cheung Ngan Yi.

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