PV Sindhu: ‘World champion’ tag will propel Tokyo gold quest

On the one-year anniversary of her BWF World Championships triumph, PV Sindhu underlined the importance of finishing on top.

By Utathya Nag

Indian badminton star PV Sindhu is eager to add an Olympic gold medal to her Rio silver at the Tokyo Olympics and is confident that her ‘world champion’ tag will help in her pursuit.

Back on August 25, 2019, PV Sindhu created history, by becoming the first Indian badminton player to win a gold medal at the BWF World Championships. It was her fifth medal in the competition, bringing Sindhu on par with Chinese shuttler Zhang Ning’s record tally at the event.

“The tag of being a world champion for the second year does help me as I prepare to chase another goal – to win the Olympics gold next year,” PV Sindhu told Sportstar in a recent interview.

PV Sindhu was speaking on the one-year anniversary of her victory over Japanese ace Nozomi Okuhara in the final at Basel.

PV Sindhu is the first Indian badminton player to win a gold medal at the BWF World Championships.

PV Sindhu on her form

The 25-year-old PV Sindhu hasn’t been in the best of form since her world championship triumph, failing to go beyond the quarter-final stage in any of her events following that. Sindhu, however, isn’t too worried.

“The biggest plus on being a world champion is that my confidence level is on a high though there were a few disappointments after winning the world title,” Sindhu noted.

Despite being an annual event, the World Championships traditionally skip Olympic years and hence no competition was scheduled on the BWF calendar for 2020.

However, with COVID forcing the Tokyo Olympics to be postponed to 2021, it will be the first time in history that the Summer Olympics and the BWF World Championships will be held in the same year.

Initially scheduled for August, 2021, the tournament has been shifted to November to avoid a clash with the revised Tokyo Olympics schedule.

The postponement means PV Sindhu will retain her ‘world champion’ title for an extended period and will go into next year’s Olympics as world champion.

The pandemic has posed a challenge to a lot of athletes’ preparations for Tokyo. But with training slowly resuming post lockdown, PV Sindhu is hard at work adding to her arsenal for the upcoming Summer Games.

“I am working with my Korean coach Park Tae-Sang. I need to work harder to learn new strokes. I also need to learn from mistakes, try to rectify them to be a better player,” Sindhu said.

India’s number one shuttler is eyeing a return to competitive badminton with the Thomas and Uber Cup, scheduled to be held in Denmark from October 3 this year.