Shuttler PV Sindhu yesterday scripted history by winning the country’s first ever Olympic Silver Medal in Badminton at Rio. But there was something more from Sindhu’s side that captured everybody’s attention on the court.
After losing the game to world’s number 1 Carolina Marin, Sindhu sat on the court for a moment and then walked over to shake hands with the chair umpire.
The 21-year-old then waved to the crowd and crossed the court to go over to Marin, dubbed as ‘Girl Nadal in Spain’. She lifted the champion on her feet and embraced her.
It was then that Sindhu did something very untypical, inviting praise from the sports fraternity across the world. As she parted from Marin and walked towards her coach Pullela Gopichand, the Hyderabadi girl noticed Marin’s racquet lying on the ground, where Marin had flung it in her excitement. Sindhu then picked it up and carefully laid it by the side of the court, near Marin’s bag. She then walked over to her coach to embrace him.
Sindhu’s this gesture of picking the opposition player’s racquet up was something that is not usually seen at these highest levels of world competitions. This obviously shows how much the world’s number 10 player respects her game and her opponents as well.
The final match unfolded as a high voltage action from the beginning itself as Marin was leading the first game by a huge margin of 12-6 until Sindhu made a strong comeback turning the match in India’s favour by 21-19.
The 21-year-old Indian crumbled under the relentless pressure created by Marin to lose 21-19, 12-21, 15-21 in a pulsating final that lasted for an hour and 23 minutes at the Riocentre here.
Initially, Sindhu was struggling a bit to score against the Spanish Shuttler and at a point it seemed that the game would go out of India’s hand.
However, towards the end of the first game, Sindhu swung into action, turned the tables and emerged victorious.
Sindhu thus became the fourth Indian to win a silver at the Olympics after shooters Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (2004, Athens) and Vijay Kumar (2012, London) and wrestler Sushil Kumar (2012, London).
The two-time World championship bronze medallist also became the fifth woman player from India to win a medal in Olympics and the first to clinch a silver.
Weightlifter Karnam Malleshwari (2000, Sydney), boxer MC Mary Kom (2012, London), shuttler Saina Nehwal (2012, London) and wrestler Sakshi Malik (Rio, 2016) are the other women players from India to have won a medal in Olympics.