PV Sindhu first Indian woman to win silver medal in Rio Olympics 2016
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu (born 5 July 1995) is an Indian professional badminton player. At the 2016 Summer Olympics, she became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal.
Sindhu came to international attention when she broke into the top 20 of the BWF World Ranking in September 2012 at the age of 17. In 2013, she became the first ever Indian women’s singles player to win a medal at the Badminton World Championships. In March 2015, she became the youngest recipient of India’s fourth highest civilian honor, the Padma Shri. Her silver medal win in the women’s singles event of the 2016 Summer Olympics made her the first Indian shuttler to reach the final of an Olympics badminton event and the youngest Indian to make a podium finish in an individual event at the Olympics.
Childhood and early training:
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu was born in a Telugu family to P. V. Ramana and P. Vijaya – both former volleyball players. In 2000, Ramana was awarded Arjuna Award for his sport. Though her parents played professional volleyball, Sindhu chose badminton over it because she drew inspiration from the success of Pullela Gopichand, the 2001 All England Open Badminton Champion. She eventually started playing badminton from the age of eight.
Sindhu first learned the basics of the sport with the guidance of Mehboob Ali at the badminton courts of Indian Railway Institute of Signal Engineering and Telecommunications in Secunderabad. Soon after she joined Pullela Gopichand’s badminton academy. While profiling Sindhu’s career, a correspondent with The Hindu wrote:
The fact that she reports on time at the coaching camps daily, travelling a distance of 56 km from her residence, is perhaps a reflection of her willingness to complete her desire to be a good badminton player with the required hard work and commitment.
Gopichand seconded this correspondent’s opinion when he said that “the most striking feature in Sindhu’s game is her attitude and the never-say-die spirit.” After joining Gopichand’s badminton academy, Sindhu won several titles. In the under-10 years category, she won the 5th Servo All India ranking championship in the doubles category and the singles title at the Ambuja Cement All India ranking. In the under-13 years category, Sindhu won the singles title at the Sub-juniors in Pondicherry, doubles titles at the Krishna Khaitan All India Tournament, IOC All India Ranking, the Sub-Junior Nationals and the All India Ranking in Pune. She also won the under-14 team gold medal at the 51st National School Games in India.
In the international circuit, Sindhu was a bronze medallist at the 2009 Sub-Junior Asian Badminton Championships held in Colombo. At the 2010 Iran Fajr International Badminton Challenge, she won the silver medal in the singles category. Sindhu reached the quarterfinals of the 2010 Junior World Badminton Championships that was held in Mexico. She was a team member in India’s national team at the 2010 Uber Cup.
On 14 June 2012, Sindhu lost to Germany’s Juliane Schenk in Indonesia Open, 21–14, 21–14. On 7 July 2012, she won Asia Youth Under 19 Championship beating Japanese Player Nozomi Okuhara in final by 18–21, 21–17, 22–20. In the 2012 Li Ning China Masters Super Series tournament she stunned London 2012 Olympics gold medallist Li Xuerui of China, beating her 21–19, 9–21, 21–16 and entered the semifinals but lost to 4th seeded Jiang Yanjiao of China by 10–21, 21–14, 19–21 in the semifinals. A lot was expected from Sindhu in the Japan Open after her exploits in the China Open, given China pulled many of its players out of the tournament citing security reasons. But she bowed out in the second round to Korean shuttler Bae Yeon Ju for 21–10, 12–21, 18–21.
Sindhu then went on to participate in the 77th Senior National Badminton Championships held at Srinagar. She was defeated in the finals by Sayali Gokhale for 15–21, 21–15, 15–21. It was later revealed that Sindhu injured her knee in the China Open and she carried this injury through the Japan Open and the nationals. She decided to skip the World Junior Championships so as not to aggravate the injury.
Sindhu finished runner-up in the Syed Modi India Grand Prix Gold event held in Lucknow in December 2012. She didn’t lose a single set coming into the final, but was upset by the Indonesian Linda Weni Fanetri for 21–15, 18–21, 21–18. She reached her career best ranking of 15.
She won Malaysian open title 2013, beating her opponent from Singapore Juan Gu by 21–17,17–21,21–19. This is Sindhu’s maiden Grand Prix Gold title.
PV Sindhu on 8 August 2013 defeated the defending champion, second-seeded Wang Yihan of China, to enter the women’s quarterfinals at the Badminton world championships. The 18-year-old, 10th-seeded Sindhu won 21–18, 23–21 in 54 minutes to set up a meeting with seventh-seeded Chinese player Wang Shixian. She beat Wang Shixian 21–18, 21 – 17 to become India’s first medalist in women’s singles at the World Championships.
In the 2013 Indian Badminton League, Sindhu was the captain of the team Awadhe Warriors. Her team qualified for the semifinal, where they beat Mumbai Marathas, but was lost in the final to Hyderabad HotShots.
She won Macau Open Grand Prix Gold title by defeating Canada’s Michelle Li on December 1, 2013. The top-seeded 18-year-old won the match 21–15 21–12 in 37 minutes. She was awarded Arjun Award by Government of India.
PV Sindhu reached the semifinal stage of Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the women’s singles competition, where she eventually lost. PV Sindhu created history by becoming the first Indian to win two back-to-back medals in the World Badminton Championships.
PV Sindhu reached semifinal of the world cup in Denmark.
The world number 11 from Hyderabad showed extraordinary skills and fighting spirit to defeat the second ranked Shixian Wang in three gruelling sets 19-21, 21-19, 21-15, with the match lasting more than an hour at Copenhagen. She had earlier defeated World Number 5 South Korean Bae Yeon Ju in the pre-quarters in another battle of attrition 19-21, 22-20, 25-23.
In October, playing at the Denmark Open, Sindhu reached to her maiden final of a Super Series event. On her route to the final, she defeated three seeded players, namely Tai Tzu-ying, Wang Yihan and Carolina Marin. In the final, she lost to the defending champion Li Xuerui in straight games by 19-21, 12-21.
In November, defending champion P. V. Sindhu won her third successive women’s singles title at the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold after defeating Japan’s Minatsu Mitani in the final by 21-9, 21-23, 21-14.
In January, Sindhu won the Malaysia Masters Grand Prix Gold women’s singles title after beating Scotland’s Kirsty Gilmour in the final. She had also won this tournament in 2013.
In the 2016 Premier Badminton league, Sindhu was the captain of Chennai Smashers team. In the group league, she won all of the five matches to help her team qualify for the semifinal. However, in the semifinal. her team was beaten by Delhi Acers.
Rio Olympics 2016
At the women’s singles event, Sindhu was ninth seeded along Hungarian Laura Sárosi and Canadian Michelle Li in Group M. During the Group stage matches, she upset Laura Sárosi (2-0) and Michelle Li (2-1). Further she ousted Taipei’s Tai Tzu-ying (2-0) in the Pre-Quarter finals to meet 2nd seeded and World No.2 Chinese Wang Yihan in the Quarter-finals, whom she defeated 2-0 games.
The win against Wang Yihan set the Semi final match with the Japanese Nozomi Okuhara, who went down 0-2, ensuring Sindhu a podium finish. This set stage for her final showdown with World No. 1 and Top seeded Spaniard Carolina Marín. The 83-minute match resulted in favour of the Spaniard against Indian, 2-1 games eventually Sindhu clinching Silver Medal. She charted history of achieving the feat as she is youngest and first women individual to bag Olympic Silver medal representing India.