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Billion hearts waiting for Sindhu to better silver medal at Tokyo


Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, a name that needs no introduction in India, is all set to wield her badminton racquet in her second Olympics in Tokyo, even as a billion hearts wait for her to better the silver medal she won five years ago.

Born on July 5, 1995 at Hyderabad, the lean, lanky and power hitting shuttler is eager to add more medals to the silver medal she bagged in the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016.

Sports and winning medals are no stranger to Sindhu as both her parents were former volleyball players. In fact her father P.V. Ramana bagged a bronze medal at the 1986 Seoul Asian Games.

The 179-cm-tall Sindhu turned pro at 13 and made her international debut at the age of 17. Just turned 26, Sindhu has been a member of the Indian national team since 2013.

Honing her badminton skills at the Gopichand Academy, founded by 2001 All England Open champion Pullella Gopichand, Sindhu started making a mark in junior tournaments first.

She won junior badminton titles such as All India Ranking Championship, sub-junior nationals and the Hyderabad-based shuttler went on to capture the bronze medal at sub-junior Asian badminton championships.

She followed it up with impressive victories of a bronze medal in the women’s singles at the Commonwealth Games in 2014 and several others.

Falling in love with the sport after watching Gopichand in action in her formative years, Sindhu has emerged as one of India’s biggest medal hopes at Tokyo.

Much loved in both the Telugu states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, Sindhu is currently working in the AP government, as she was offered a deputy collector’s job by former chief minister and Telugu Desam Party supremo Nara Chandrababu Naidu after her Olympic exploits.

Recently, AP Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy met Sindhu and wished her good luck for the mega games in Tokyo, including doling out a financial incentive of Rs 5 lakh.

Not just a financial incentive, Reddy also handed over a copy of the government order allocating 2 acres of land for Sindhu to set up a badminton academy in the port city of Visakhapatnam.

“I am very thankful to both the governments (AP and Telangana). Whenever I needed any help or leave for tournaments, I was given on duty leave. I am very thankful. They are understanding a sportsperson and extending support,” said Sindhu, talking to a local news channel.

She said a permit was immediately given to her when she wanted to reach her training academy during the Covid lockdown.

Declining to pick a single sport to vouch for, Sindhu said she is glad to see the rising number of athletes representing India from various sports, including fencing.

“In every state, there are many youngsters. We just have to motivate and support them with the right practice and guidance, and there will be a lot more athletes,” she noted.

Though she entered the Rio Olympics as an underdog, Sindhu has expressed confidence this time before going to Tokyo that she will win a medal.

“Yes, definitely hoping for that. My preparations are really going well. I will leave in a week’s time,” said Sindhu, observing that the Tokyo Games will be a different ball game altogether considering the coronavirus pandemic.

As many new athletes are representing the country in new disciplines, Sindhu wished that the country would bag more medals than the last Olympics, though it is not going to be easy.

The agile athlete promised to return to India with a medal from Tokyo even as her well-wishers hope for nothing less than a gold.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Would like to have breakfast with Serena Williams: Sindhu


Badminton star and 2016 Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu said that she would like to have breakfast with tennis legend Serena Williams because of her “jovial” and “friendly” nature.

In response to a question on which famous stranger would she like to have breakfast with and why, the 2019 World Championships gold medallist in Basel, said, “Serena Williams. I also like it when people are jovial and friendly and greet you in the morning, ask how you are. I think that is very nice.”

Talking about her training schedule, Sindhu, who is a medal contender at the Tokyo Olympics in July, told moneycontrol.com that the mornings are reserved for warm-ups and match practice, while she does her running and physical training in the evening.

“Mornings, I play on court. I leave my home at 6.40 am, start warming up at 7 and start playing at 7.30. Evenings are for running, gym or other physical training,” said Sindhu, who has five World Championships medals between 2014 and 2019.

Sindhu, 25, said that she is comfortable with early starts even if she has to retire to bed late. “I’m used to getting up early for practice but I’m also a night person. I used to be up around 4.15 am at one point. Now I wake up at 6 in the morning. I say night person because when we travel, we have late flights, at 2 or 3 am. So I’m used to that also,” said the Hyderabad player.

The Commonwealth Games gold medallist in mixed team event, however, says she needs to take adequate sleep to recover from the rigours of training and competition.

“I need a minimum of 6-7 hours of sleep. I also sleep in the afternoon for one-and-a-half or two hours. And I do my gym work in the evening. Yes, at times the alarm goes off and you are too tired to notice. And then you get up after some time and realise you are late and rush for practice. It’s fun and it happens to everyone. But it doesn’t happen very often at tournaments. Because then we are very focused on the schedule,” said Sindhu.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Sindhu questions timing of BWF’s new service rule change


Rio Olympics silver medallist P.V. Sindhu on Tuesday questioned the timing of the experimental service rule change in badminton which is set to be tried at the prestigious All England Championships, being held during March in London.

According to the new rule, the whole of the shuttle shall be less than 1.15 metres from the court surface at the instant of being hit by the server’s racket.

“It could have come in a different tournament instead of All England which is a very prestigious tournament for everyone. So, may be, they should have started it from the start of the year itself,” Sindhu told reporters on the eve of the Chennai Smashers’ second Premier Badminton League (PBL) match against Mumbai Rockets, here.

“When it comes for the rule change, we need to learn it. There is no other way. It should not be much of a problem from my side.

“Some of them may have it, but we need to practise it out. Service is the most important thing before you start a rally,” she added.

Asked about the cramped international calendar, which has been slammed by her compatriot Saina Nehwal and reigning Olympic champion Carolina Marin, Sindhu said there was no point talking about it.

“The calendar has already come out so we can’t say we won’t play. Of course, it’s a very tough schedule with World Championship, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. I am going to pick and choose tournaments and plan with the coach accordingly,” the Hyderabadi said.

The Badminton World Federation (BWF) had earlier received a lot of flak after it made it mandatory for top shuttlers to play at least 12 tournaments in a revamped schedule for 2018.

Sindhu, who once again failed to break the jinx of the final this season after having reached the summit clashes of World Championships and the Dubai Superseries Finals, is, however, content with her performance in 2017.

“It’s been a good year for me so far. It went on really well if you take the Superseries, World Championships and recently the Dubai Superseries Finals. Though I lost in the finals, there were really good matches and it was anybody’s game at the end of the day.

“It was really close in both the World Championships finals as well as in Dubai. But (despite the losses) there are a lot of positives which will help me come back much more stronger.

Commenting on her much-awaited clash with Saina in their PBL opener against the Awadhe Warriors, which could not take place due to the latter’s injury, Sindhu said: “Even I was expecting that Saina would play but unfortunately she didn’t.”

“I put the trump from my side, though it was the last match I knew that she was not playing. So I was actually relaxed as I had enough time to get prepared against the other opponent.

“Our team lost the first match against Awadhe Warriors in Guwahati but overall it’s a good team and we hope to bounce back,” she added.

While Chennai lost their PBL opener against Awadhe, Mumbai, on the other hand won their opening match against the Delhi Dashers in Guwahati.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Rio Olympics was my biggest life lesson: P.V. Sindhu


Indian badminton star P.V. Sindhu, the story of whose performance will find its way to the silver screen with a biopic, says the 2016 Rio Olympics was her biggest life lesson, following which she explored her capabilities further with the help of her coach Pullela Gopichand.

“It was my first time at the Olympics and I really had no idea what the atmosphere would be like. I didn’t really know how it was going to be and what it will be, but my coach has always believed in me and told me that ‘You can do that’.

“The kind of hard work he put in and the sacrifices he made pushed me to work harder. That made me think ‘I can do anything’ and that is one of life lessons that I learnt,” Sindhu told IANS in a telephonic interview.

Sindhu made India proud at the Rio Olympics, where she thrashed Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the women’s singles badminton semi-final, becoming the first Indian woman to win a silver medal at the quadrennial event.

That was also India’s first silver in the badminton event at the Olympics. Saina Nehwal had won bronze at the 2012 London Olympics.

Sindhu, 22, says her coach urged her to believe in herself and that has helped her play the game well.

Just last month, she brought back a silver medal from Glasgow’s Badminton World Championships. Honouring Gopichand’s unwavering support to her over the years, Sindhu has paid a Teacher’s Day tribute to him through a digital film that she has co-produced with sports drink brand Gatorade.

The digital film titled #IHATEMYTEACHER celebrates those who keep pushing you.

“They push you so much that, because of them, you achieve so much. He has always been behind me, showing his anger and taking responsibilities. It is because of them (teachers and coaches) that we get so much of success,” Sindhu said.

To reach this height of success, she has had a journey full of bruised knees and afternoons spent perfecting the backhand shot. Does she miss enjoying the usual life of a youngster her age?

“Badminton is the real me, and whatever I am today is because of badminton. It’s not that I don’t have a personal life or anything, but badminton is my passion and I don’t regret it. If you want to achieve anything in life, you have to believe in yourself. It is very important,” she said.

The badminton star also has an interesting point to make in terms of India’s growth in sports.

“India is growing in terms of sports and there will be many sports coming up in years ahead. Junior players are doing well,” said Sindhu, who is also excited about a Bollywood biopic on her life. It is being produced by Sonu Sood.

Asked about the developments on that front, she said: “We have been discussing it… we met a couple of times. But nothing has been decided yet. We hope it’s going to come out soon.”

So is she going to do a cameo in it?

“I am not sure. They would know much better as they have been in the film industry. They will decide what is best,” she said.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

P V Sindhu takes charge as Deputy Collector


Ace Shuttler and Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu took charge as Deputy Collector in Andhra Pradesh on Wednesday. She reported to Chief Commissioner of Land Administration (CCLA) Anil Chandra Punetha at the CCLA office in Golapudi, Vijayawada.

Following her success streak at Olympics in 2016, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu announced a cash reward of three crore rupees, a residential plot in Amaravati and Group-I officer’s post. During the assembly sessions in May2017, the state legislature passed a Bill amending the APPSC Act to appoint the shuttler as a Group-I officer in the government.

In July Chief Minister handed over the appointment letter to Sindhu at the state secretariat in July. As per the appointment, the state government asked the badminton player to join duty as deputy collector within 30 days.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



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