Hyderabad: This was a different kind of a welcome. Not the usual rousing or typical homecoming. There was no bursting of crackers not even the small procession which is usually associated whenever a player wins a title or clinches a medal in the World Championship or Olympics or Super Series tournaments at the Pullela Gopichand Academy.
Instead, Guru Brahma Gurur Vishnu Gurudevo Maheshwara, a Stotra on Sri Gurudeva, was played as chief national coach Pullela Gopichand walked in to take his chair with World Championship silver medalist PV Sindhu at the academy on Tuesday morning. Video analyst Maqdoom said it was more to appreciate the efforts of Gopichand, who has made India proud by winning honours at the Olympics and the World Championship.
For Sindhu, it was another triumphant return to her place of work. Winner of two bronze medals in the 2013 and the 2014 editions, a smiling Sindhu said: “This time I changed the colour from bronze to silver. This was one of the best tournaments after Rio Olympics. It was something different,’’ said the 22-year-old on her return from Glasgow.
In fact, when Sindhu was asked how she is able to give her best in World Championship or Olympics, she said this time the one-month or so camp prior to Glasgow made a big difference to her performance in the Worlds. “We worked very hard. In fact, we don’t have much time before any big tournament because there are hardly one or two weeks break before we come back to play in the tournaments. This time we had more than a month to prepare and that was very important.’’
The lanky shuttler, who played an epic rally of 76 shots with winner Nozomi Okuhara in the second game at 21-20 and also played longest final in World Championship, said that this will be the new trend in modern badminton. “It is not easy any more if you can see the new trend, the rallies are getting too long. No one is getting easy points any more. A player has to fight for each point.’’
She revealed that for the first time, there were plenty of rallies and that made the players very tired. “It did tire me but she (Okuhara) also looked tired. At that point, we think of the point only. It is the World championship. From the first point, there were long rallies and it was not I could consume some energy but there was no way that I could save my energy as every rally was very tough.’’
On her impeccable record of beating the Chinese players in World Championship like India beating Pakistan in cricket World Cup, Sindhu merely said: “It is just that I have to play my game and do my best. Everybody has different style of play so it is not that the Chinese are something different.’’
Sindhu doesn’t like being reminded about the Sunday’s loss. . “It was a good final. At 20-all (third game) it was any body’s game. Then it was not my day. I felt bit upset. But I was fine the next day as I had won a medal. I enjoyed my win.’’
The champion shuttler said she was expecting a clash with Saina Nehwal in the final. “Actually, in the World Championship, everyone was expecting this final but then it did not happen. I think there will be a few matches in the final.’’
She was happy that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was taking interest in the growth of sport in the country. “I think it is great for Modiji who was ready to do anything for sport.’’
The social media does inspire Sindhu. “Right from Modiji, there are lot of messages in the social media. It is a tremendous motivation if people send some encouraging messages on social media. It is a different feeling when fans cheer you.’’
Saying that she is very happy that there is more television audience for badminton, Sindhu said: “It’s good to see the response and in one way it is very good.’’
On the new chants Sindhu, Sindhu replacing Sachin, Sachin (Tendulkar), the city shuttler said since the Rio Olympics she got to see so many fans. “I would not like to be compared with other sport. Of course, Sachin is a great person. Cricket is different but it is great to see people looking up to you. I would have to keep the momentum.’’