At the age of 21, PV Sindhu became the first-ever Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal this year. And at the age of 17, she broke into the Top 20 of the BWF World ranking. Furthermore, she is the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Badminton World Championships. All in all, her achievements are undoubtedly remarkable. However, it took her a long while to get there with several ups and downs. Here are some parts of her journey.
Since both her parents were professional volleyball players, PV Sindhu was born into an athletic family. She chose to play badminton and was inspired by Pullela Gopichand’s success at the 2001 All England Open. With very supportive parents and a lot of determination, she started playing badminton at the age of 8.
Incredible Determination At A Young Age
At a young age, Sindhu took badminton very seriously. She used to report punctually to her coaching camp every day after traveling a distance of around 56 kilometers from where she lived. She learned the basics of the sport at the very modest Indian Railway Institute of Signal Engineering and Telecommunications in Secunderabad. After this, she moved on to train at the Gopichand Badminton Academy.
PV Sindhu Started To Take Part In Competitions
Sindhu started her international career by winning the bronze medal at the 2009 Sub-Junior Asian Badminton Championships in Colombo. Furthermore, she won the silver medal at the 2010 Iran Fajr International Badminton challenge. Also, she became an official member of the Indian national badminton team in the same year.
Though she had injured her knee, she went on to compete in the 77th Senior National Badminton Championships at Srinagar. Later, since the injury got worse, she had to skip the World Junior Championships to keep the injury in check. In the next tournament, the Syed Modi India Grand Prix Gold, she made an even better comeback where she reached her career-best ranking of 15.
The Rio Olympics
After years of wonderful wins and outstandingly played tournaments, Sindhu went on to compete in the Rio Olympics in 2016. She was ranked 9th, but won several matches, even defeating World No.2 Wang Yihan, en route to the finals of the tournament. After a hard-fought match, she finally lost to Spaniard Carolina Marin. However, she became the first-ever woman to win a silver medal for India. The following video shows the highlights of her at the Rio 2016 –
Recognised All Over The Country
Sindhu already gathered a lot of fame due to her tournaments in the past, her Olympic win was revolutionary, and the Padma Shri — the fourth highest civilian honor in the country was awarded to her. She even won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the highest sporting honor in India.
Her coaches have always said that Sindhu is set apart by her die-hard spirit and refuses to ever give up. Even today, to achieve what she has today, she gives up regular pleasures like using her phone and plays all day. Lastly, she continues to win today, and will surely go ahead to achieve much more— she’s only 26 after all.