PV Sindhu was not the favorite at the Rio Olympics. However, she managed to rally against all odds and finish on the podium in 2016, marking the arrival of a brand-new megastar in the Indian sporting circuit. Five years later, PV Sindhu is one of the favorites as she makes her way to the Tokyo Olympics and one of the biggest medal hopes for India.
Unlike the Rio Olympics, PV Sindhu won’t have the company of Saina Nehwal which means all the focus will be on the silver medalist. However, the 25-year-old, who is renowned for stepping up to the biggest of challenges, stated that she doesn’t feel any additional pressure but recognized that there will be added responsibility and expectations when she starts her badminton campaign for India.
PV Sindhu is the only female shuttler from India to make the cut for the Tokyo Olympics. Sai Praneeth, the World Championship bronze medalist, and the young duo of Chirag Shetty and Sattiwksairaj Rankireddy will also represent India in both the men’s singles and double events during the Tokyo Olympics.
Saina Nehwal, the bronze medalist from the London Olympics, and Kidambi Srikanth, the former world number 1, were the biggest names to not make the cut for the Tokyo Olympics. Both players finished outside the top 16 rankings for the Race to Tokyo. There are currently two quota places in singles if both are ranked within the top 16 and two quota places in doubles if the pair is ranked within the top 8 as per NOC.
Srikanth and Saina Miss Out on Olympics Berths
Sindhu stated that she is very disappointed that Srikanth and Saina will miss out on the Tokyo Olympics after the qualifying cycle was hit by the coronavirus. Numerous tournaments that formed part of the Olympic cycle were cancelled in 2021. The Asian leg of the tour, which was scheduled for May, was also cancelled and provided a final blow to the shuttler’s chances to make it to the Tokyo Olympics.
Sindhu also acknowledged the growing opposition among the citizens of Japan when it comes to playing host for the Olympics during the pandemic but stated that the International Olympic Committee are doing everything in their power to ensure safety for all stakeholders involved. Sindhu seems to have made the best use of her time away from the competitive action.
The shuttler from India, who managed to reach the final during the Swiss Open and the semi-final during the All England Open, stated that she has been working hard to add an arsenal of new tricks to her growing repertoire before she makes her way to Tokyo for the Olympics.
Sindhu believes that this is the perfect opportunity to improve her skills and techniques ahead of the quadrennial spectacle and thinks she has greatly improved her chances to excel when the Tokyo Olympics gets underway in July. She also stated that it’s good to have so much time to practice new skills and techniques instead of travelling from one tournament to the next. She hopes the new skills will propel her to glory as she represents India at the Tokyo Olympics.