PV Sindhu excited for Rio Olympics 2016, wants to meet Usain Bolt and Roger Federer
A glittering ceremony in New Delhi marked the celebration of Indian contingent going for the Rio Olympics 2016 along with the launch of the Olympians Association of India – a one of a kind non-profit organisation formed by Olympians for Olympians. A large number of Rio-bound athletes were present at the ceremony and Sportskeeda caught up with young badminton star PV Sindhu, who is one of the dark horses for India at the 2016 Olympics.
A Gopichand Badminton Academy product, PV Sindhu is one of India’s rising sports stars and is already a Padma Shri Awardee. However, all these accolades, achievements and honours do not take away the fact that she will turn 21 tomorrow and Sindhu, while talking to Sportskeeda, expressed her excitement at going to Brazil, a country she has never visited before.
“I am really excited and raring to go for the 2016 Rio Olympics. Representing your country is always an honour and I am glad to have gotten this opportunity at such an early age and that too at the highest level. I will try my best to win a medal but a lot is going to depend on the draw, which will directly decide the end result,” Sindhu said. The tall and lean badminton player spoke about how the Indian badminton contingent has a healthy chance of getting medals.
India will be represented by Saina Nehwal, Ashwini Ponappa, Jwala Gutta, Kidambi Srikanth, PV Sindhu Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri at the Rio Games and a lot is expected from the contingent. While Saina looks like a sureshot medal bet, the prowess of Sindhu cannot be undermined and should she return with a medal, it will not be surprising. Sindhu spoke about India’s medal prospects with respect to badminton.
“I think we have a really strong group of players, all of whom are top class talents and can get a medal. We really hope the draw is on our side so that we can peform well,” she said. “There is a lot of harmony between all of us and we go out a lot of times. I like going out with Ashwini and Jwala, we have a lot of fun together,” Sindhu said, talking about the harmony.
Badminton is an individual sport and it is quite difficult to forge a friendship with direct rivals, something that can apply in the case of Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu. However, Sindhu said that the rivalry between her and Saina was strictly on court and there was no animosity. “You cannot deny there is a rivalry that exists but it is strictly professional and we are pretty normal off the court,” he said.
Sindhu is a product of the Gopichand Badminton Academy, which has been at the epicentre of the success of the sport in the country. The badminton star gave a lot of credit to the academy and said, “The kind of infrastructure that is provided for us in the academy is exceptional and the training is excellent. In a lot of ways, the academy is responsible for contributing to the success of a lot of players.”
This is her first Olympics and Sindhu, like all other athletes, will be living in the Rio Games Village, where she might get the chance to rub shoulders with some of the biggest stars from the sporting world. Talking about the same, she said, “I would love to meet Usain Bold and Roger Federer . I also would be really happy to meet Rafael Nadal. It is amazing that I have the chance to meet them.
“When I was young, I used to play badminton for fun and did not till a long time that things will turn out this way. Thankfully, my coaches and family supported me and I have been able to achieve what I have achieved,” she addd.
There is going to be a lot of competition at the Rio Olympics and players from China, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore will be the usual suspects. Upon being asked whether there is a stark difference in fitness and agility levels between Indians and players from Southeast Asian countries, “I don’t think so, we are as fit as they are. It is just that they get excellent infrastructure and maybe their mental strength is better than us.“
PV Sindhu is a bright prospect for the Rio Olympics and also the future of Indian women’s badminton. Irrespective of the fact whether she gets a medal in Rio or not, Sindhu is not too far from getting there and will be gunning for nothing less than gold in 2020 Tokyo games.