Sindhu takes a giant leap towards her goal

Published: 11th August 2013 09:52 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th August 2013 09:52 AM   |  A+A-


"I want to become World number one," Sindhu had told IANS a couple of months ago. With her bronze medal in the World Badminton Championships, she has made a giant leap towards that goal.

Despite Saturday's loss in the semifinal to Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand, the 18-year-old Hyderabadi has won many hearts.

Her sterling victories over the defending champion Yihan Wang and Asian Games gold medallist Shixian Wang en route the last four may enable Sindhu, currently ranked 12th, to break into top 10.

Sindhu may be upset over the loss in the semifinal but her parents, both former volleyball players, are happy that she made the country proud by winning a medal.

She became the first Indian to win a women's singles medal in the Worlds. Prakash Padukone won the men's singles bronze in 1983 at Copenhagen while Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa won another bronze in women's doubles in the 2011 edition.

"The entire country was expecting her to win. She settled for a bronze but a medal is a medal. We are happy that she has won a medal for the country," Sindhu's proud father P. V. Ramana told IANS.

"This was her first appearance in the World Championship. She has achieved this at a very young age. We are confident she will do better in future," said Ramana, an Arjuna awardee.

According to him, there was pressure on Sindhu while her opponent played very well. He, however, is elated that her daughter put up a scintillating show in the tournament.

He believes sincerity, dedication and simplicity are the secrets of Sindhu's success. This five feet six inch tall sensation has come a long way since she started playing badminton at the age of eight.

Ramana feels having a coach like Pullela Gopichand, the support from Badminton Federation of India, Olympic Gold Quest and Universal Collectabillia, company jointly owned by ace cricketer Sachin Tendulkar encouraged her. The job provided by Bharat Petroleum, which has now also promised a promotion, also motivated the girl.

It was last year that Sindhu emerged as a giant-killer like Saina Nehwal when she won the Asian Youth (under-19) Championship. This coupled with the national title she bagged earlier that year gave her confidence to aim bigger.

Sindhu, who completed her class 12 last year, is the only player since the legendary Padukone to hold both junior and senior national titles. Sindhu, who turned 18 on July 5, has fast climbed the ladder of success thanks to her hard work and dedication.

Mohammed Ali was her first coach when she starting playing the game near her house in Secunderabad. She then started training at the Lal Bahadur Stadium and later moved to the Pullela Gopichand Academy.

"Playing badminton was my own interest. My dad didn't force me to play volleyball or any other game. They left the choice to me and encouraged me a lot," Sindhu had told IANS.

Ramana and his wife Vijaya made many sacrifices to groom her. As Gopichand Academy is located 27 km away from their house, her father always used to drop and take her back home.

The fact that both her parents are sportspersons greatly helped Sindhu. "We advised and guided her in many respects like how much rest she should take after the practice and how she can remain fit. This helped the child to come up," said Ramana.

"We accompany her during the practice sessions and watch the movements her coach teaches. We ask her to keep on repeating those movements after she comes back home. If you are not a sportsperson you will not be able to tell all these things to your child. This gave her the motivation," he added.

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