A day after Sindhu made the nation proud by winning the silver medal at the Rio Games, Sindhu’s mother, Vijaya recalled the incident,,”I could never imagine how that one small incident would change a person’s life. Sindhu developed an intense love for the game and almost forced us to go and look for a coach for her. Little did we know then that she would become so famous,” conceded Vijaya.
In fact, Sindhu parents arranged Mohammed Ali as her coach. It was under his tutelage that the lanky Hyderabadi learnt the basics of the game. Thereafter, Sindhu was put under the watchful eyes of Mohd Arif who is a Dronacharya. :Once she was under Arif sir and he had good things to say about her, we were convinced that she had it in her to become a good player,” said Vijaya.
Thereafter, she moved over to the Gopi Chand Academy where Sindhu the star was born. “I think her move to the Gopi Chand Academy was the main factor which saw the emergence of Sindhu. I think the main reason was that in the academy in Gaichibowli she got to train with the likes of reputed players like Saina and Jwala. She began to understand the training methods and the mental preparation which these players used to do---something which was to stand her in good stead in her climbing up the international level,” felt Vijaya.
Vijaya also recognized the role played by Gopi Chand. :”He (Gopi) was quick to see the talent in Sindhu and told us that we should be prepared to do anything for her. Initially, we were a bit reluctant but Gopi was insistent and we were finally convinced about what he said,” said Vijaya.
It is worth mentioning here that Sindhu came to limelight in July 2012.. The Hyderabadi became the first Indian to win the girls' singles title at the Asian Youth Under-19 Championships. The victory had helped improve her world ranking to 25 from 151 early that year. There was no looking back for Sindhu since that day.
Meanwhile, Indian coach Pullela Gopichand on Friday said that he was proud of the fact that under his tutelage the country has won two consecutive medals in Olympics.
Saina Nehwal won a bronze in London Olympics in 2012 and P.V. Sindhu bettered the colour of the medal after losing the women's singles final to Carolina Marin of Spain at Rio on Friday.
"It's a one in a lifetime or one in a million times or, for us, one in a billion times that somebody gets an opportunity to stand on that (medal) podium and for someone like me it was a part of the journey as well," Gopichand told reporters.
"I am very happy and grateful to God and very grateful to people who have supported this journey, who believed in us."
'Gopi', as he is fondly called, reminisced that he told Sindhu to soak in the moment that she has claimed the silver -- and not get crestfallen by the defeat in the title clash.
"Immediately after the game, I told her, don't think we have lost a match, but that we have won a medal. This I told her so that she doesn't forget the effort she put in the last week," Gopi Chand said.
"It has done us all proud with the kind of effort she put in. We are happy and I wanted her to also feel the same way."
Saina was the first Indian badminton player to win an Olympic medal in 2012 London Olympics.