Self-belief has a silver lining as PV Sindhu found out in Rio 2016

The star shuttler pushed herself post-injury to qualify for her maiden Olympics at Rio 2016 and it was made possible by her immense will power.

By Rahul Venkat

Self-belief is the most essential quality an athlete or any person can have, according to PV Sindhu.

It was this self-belief that won the Indian badminton star a silver medal in her Olympic Games debut at Rio 2016, after she had been out of competitive action for eight months just a year earlier.

“I was in a lot of pain when I had a stress fracture in 2015 and I did not play for six months. It was not a small injury,” she said during the ‘Let the Bird Fly! Moving on with Badminton’ webinar, hosted by former national champion Ameeta Sinh.

Allowing herself sufficient time to recover was key for the then 20-year-old. PV Sindhu did not rush back to realise her Olympic dream and after training for two months to regain full fitness, Sindhu went on to play almost 22 tournaments to make the cut for Rio.

“Even though I was injured, I kept doing my upper body exercises. It was only possible because I believed in myself and I ended up doing it,” Sindhu added.

Giving your best

While she fell short of a gold medal at the Olympics, Sindhu did clinch one in the BWF World Championships three years later.

The elusive gold came after a long wait for PV Sindhu and she had been dubbed ‘Silver Sindhu’ after finishing second-best in seven consecutive finals in the lead up to the 2019 World Championships.

However, Sindhu has spoken of how she channelled her self-belief to create Indian badminton history and part of it was accepting the fact that losses were inevitable in a sportsperson’s career.

“Once I step on the court, my focus is on winning the match. But with time, I have realised that sometimes even giving your 100 per cent will not win you matches,” stated the 25-year-old Sindhu.

“You just have to move on because as an athlete, you know that you have given your best.

“I think enjoying the game is most important. Winning and losing is secondary as long as you do that,” said PV Sindhu.