Hyderabad: Shuttle ace P. V. Sindhu is back from a silver show at the badminton World Championships in China. Having suffered her eighth loss in major finals starting with the 2016 Rio Olympics, the Hyderabadi may be out of the gold bracket for now but is by no means down.
“People keep asking me that I am winning only silver but they don’t realise that many players didn’t even reach the final, which is also a big achievement,” she told reporters at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy here on Tuesday. She sought to clarify in strong terms: “I don’t have any final phobia!”
The 23-year-old said she was not too disappointed. “I am really happy to win silver again — of course, I would have loved to win gold,” she said before showcasing the bright side.
“It has been a good week. The draw was very tough and I had played good matches right from the first round. Defeating Sung Ji Hyun, Nozomi Okuhara (defending champion) and Akane Yamaguchi (former world No.1) is a big thing,” she said.
Speaking about her loss to Carolina Marin in the final, Sindhu said: “I was leading at one point of time. If I had won the first game, maybe it would have been different. But I committed a couple of errors.”
However, Sindhu added she is under no pressure to win gold. “I don’t let negativity creep into me. I take things in a positive way. I have worked hard to win silver and I believe if I work harder I will get gold next time,” she said.
With hardly a breather before the Asian Games get underway on August 18, Sindhu was not complaining about tight schedules. “This year has been very busy with many tournaments but we can’t complain. The Asian Games will be a different challenge as we have team as well as individual events to play and there is very less time to prepare. We won a bronze in the team event last time, hopefully we will change the medal colour now,” she said.
National chief coach Gopichand was all praise for Sindhu. “We tend to have a fresh memory of the final and forget the good things of the past. Sindhu had defeated top players like Okuhara and Yamaguchi before reaching the final — that is an incredible performance. She deserves a lot of credit for the mental and physical strength she showed. Winning a medal at the Worlds is no mean task,” he said.
Gopi said he was happy with the performances of Indians. “Overall, we had four quarterfinalists which is our best showing till date at this level. Saina beating Ratchanok Intanon (former No.1) is also one of the high points. She lost to Marin who was at her best in that match,” he said.
However, former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth and H.S. Prannoy could have done better in the men’s singles. They lost in the third and second rounds respectively. “The conditions were tricky. In big events, pressure plays a big role, it is a learning experience,” Gopi said....