“Work hard, love your sport”: P. V. Sindhu

Sindhu with her gold medal at the Badminton World Championships

On 25 August 2019, the two-time silver medallist Sindhu became the first Indian to win the World Championships gold in Badminton. The 24-year-old Sindhu’s road to success at the BWF World Championships was more than just her gameplay. It is the story of years of hard work that brought glory to the shuttler who simply loves her game, believes in herself and gives 100 per cent to Badminton.

Speaking to ANJU GROVER who met her on behalf of Indian Currents, the Delhi-based socio-political weekly, and The Teenager Today, P. V. Sindhu says her priority now is to win the elusive Olympic gold in Tokyo, next year.

Excerpts from a brief interview:

What’s your reaction to your historic win in the World Badminton championships? Were you confident of victory in the final game as you outclassed Nozomi Okuhara of Japan?
I played with confidence. I am very happy with the win. I had prepared myself for the game which I do for every game. Every match was very important for me from the very first match. I gave my 100 per cent. For me, each round was important.

What is your top priority?
My immediate target is to do well in three to four tournaments in China and Korea as this is the qualifying year for the quadrennial extravaganza. Winning a medal in Olympics is my top priority now.

Have the expectations of people become more?
The expectations were always high because people would want you to remain at the top all the time. You have to chase the target, work hard and give your best.

Your victory has brought laurels to India. Do you think, things for young badminton players would become better in the country?
Yes, definitely things will change and become better. Now, India has got a recognition at the international level in Badminton. The resources are growing. Also, lots of youngsters are coming forward to take up badminton as a sport. We are now getting support from various quarters including the government.

Do you think that more emphasis should be given to badminton and more facilities should be provided to upcoming young players, and that infrastructure should be increased?
Efforts are being made by the government through various programmes like Khelo India to promote Badminton. At the grassroots level, efforts are also made to encourage students to join any sport of their choice. This will help students to decide if they want to make a career in sports. Promoting sports from the grassroots level is a very good idea.

Cricket is the most popular sport in India and it is played almost everywhere. No other game has got support like cricket in India…
Things have changed now. Players are doing well in other sports like Badminton. In 2016, wrestler Sakshi Malik had won bronze medal in Olympics. So it’s just not cricket, every sport is doing equally good.

Who would you give credit for your victory… parents or coach?
The credit for my victory was not just my hard work but strong support of my parents and hard work of my coach, and others who supported me. My father has sacrificed a lot.

You have got financial support from your parents. Saina Nehwal too got support from her parents. But not all sportswomen, especially those from small towns, can afford or get such support.
The government is coming forward to help sportswomen from small towns. It’s not that everybody is born rich. But everybody should work hard to create a place for themselves in their chosen game. Programmes like Khelo India are helping players to do well. At grassroots level it is compulsory to take part in some sport activity. That’s how a few of them who could not afford have also performed well.

What tips would you give to young sportspersons that they too can win medals in international championships and Olympic Games?
You should love your sport. You need to love what you want to achieve. When you want to achieve something in your career, you should always do it with a lot of interest. You will have to make lot of sacrifices, as well. You must believe in yourself… and hope that you can win and achieve something.

What is your message to young badminton players?
Be prepared to work hard. They should love what they do. They need to be focussed, and give their very best. Sacrifices will have to be made. Ups and downs will be there always, but when you need to come back, show strong will power and determination. Then you can achieve anything.

Courtesy: Indian Currents