India’s invincible Sindhu

Sindhu playing a shot

India’s PV Sindhu has won the World Badminton Championships gold by thrashing her higher-ranked rival Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-7 21-7 in one of the most lopsided finals ever in Basel, Switzerland, on August 25 this year. Sindhu indisputably has proved her invincibility in Basel by mauling Okuhara, her most familiar opponent. Having played 16 matches against each other since 2012, Sindhu now leads the head-to-head 9-7.

As World Champion, Sindhu has become an icon of Indian sports, a role model worthy of emulation. Hence it is important that we don’t stop with eulogies but take a close look at the ingredients of Sindhu’s invincibility. Her historic gold medal wasn’t offered to her as a gift of fortune on a platter. She earned it the hard way.

Sindhu is the first Indian to become a world champion in badminton. The historic gold in Basel is her 5th World Championships medal. She had won bronze in 2013 and 2014, silver in 2017 and 2018 at the World Championships, and now the coveted gold medal. Accolades strung with selected adjectives ‘incredible, sensational, fantastic, master-class, et al’ continue to pour in for Sindhu. Twitter has been abuzz with Sindhu’s dominant display. Top personalities from all walks of life congratulated Sindhu on her remarkable victory.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi after meeting Sindhu tweeted, “India’s pride, a champion who has brought home gold and lots of glory!” Sports minister Kiren Rijiju congratulated Sindhu on “bringing glory to India” while Badminton Association of India president Himanta Biswa Sarma was “thrilled with joy”. India’s football team captain Sunil Chhetri was in absolute awe of Sindhu’s performance. Former badminton player Jwala Gutta hoped that Sindhu’s victory can change the country’s attitude towards sports. She tweeted: “Hope this medal changes the attitude towards sports in our country and the deserving sportspersons get all the support to achieve more of such feats! Thank you @Pvsindhu1 for this! You proved that with the right kind of support we can conquer the world.”

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