PV Sindhu shows her respect for the game by picking up Carolina Marin's racquet after Rio 2016 final
PV Sindhu has won many hearts by bagging the silver medal in the women’s badminton singles event at Rio 2016, beating three higher-ranked opponents on the way to the final of her maiden Olympic Games. The World No. 10 fell just short of beating the eventual champion Carolina Marin of Spain in a classic encounter, despite having taken the first game, but it was a gesture shown by the Indian after the match that proves how worthy she is of all the adulation that is being heaped on her right now.
After pulsating action for one hour and 24 minutes, Sindhu’s glorious giant-killing run was brought to an end, suitably by the World No. 1. Marin had won 19-21, 21-12, 21-15, just managing to produce her best game when most required.
As Marin’s final smash of the match brought Sindhu down to her feet, the Spaniard emitted the final scream of the day, pumping her fists and falling to the ground face down. She beat the surface of the court with her hands, in an outburst of joy. It had been a hard-fought victory, a match deserving of the Olympics final stage.
Sindhu reflected on the loss by sitting on the court for a moment, and then walked over to shake hands with the chair umpire. She then waved to the crowd as they cheered, and crossed the court to go over to Marin, lifting her on her feet. The two of them locked in an embrace, the only two contestants who had reached this stage.
It was then that Sindhu did something untypical, something not usually seen at these highest levels of professional competitions. As she parted from Marin and started to walk away to let the Spaniard have the limelight of a gold medal triumph, she saw her vanquisher’s racquet lying on the ground, where Marin had flung it in her excitement. Sindhu picked it up, and carefully laid it by the side of the court, near where Marin’s bag was placed.
She then walked over to her long-time coach Pullela Gopichand, who also held her in an embrace. Her gesture of picking the racquet up was impulsive and also easy to miss. But it probably shows how much she respects her sport, and how much she respects her opponents.
After a small victory lap, Marin returned to the court and picked her racquet up and placed it inside her bag. And she had her defeated opponent to thank for putting it there.
PV Sindhu making India proud, every step of the way.