Indian shuttler PV Sindhu said that she had to switch off her emotions to do well in the bronze-medal match against He Bingjiao on Sunday.
Sindhu won 21-13, 21-15 against the left-handed He to clinch the bronze medal, a day after losing in straight games to Tai Tzu Ying of Chinese Taipei.
With this, Sindhu has now become the first woman and second Indian after Sushil Kumar to win medals in successive Olympics. It is also India's second medal at the Tokyo Olympics.
"It makes me feel really happy because I've worked hard for so many years. I had a lot of emotions going through me -- should I be happy that I won bronze or sad that I lost the opportunity to play in the final? But overall, I had to close off my emotions for this one match and give it my best, my all.
"I'm really happy and I think I've done really well. It's a proud moment getting a medal for my country," Sindhu was quoted as saying by BWF after the match.
When asked about her celebrations on getting the bronze medal, Sindhu quipped, "I'm on cloud nine. I'm going to enjoy this moment. My family has worked hard for me and put in a lot of effort so I'm very thankful. And my sponsors have given me their best so I'd like to thank them and enjoy the moment."
The 26-year-old paid gratitude to the fans for supporting her throughout the tournament. "A lot of Indian fans showed me their love and support and I'm very thankful to each and every one of them. Definitely lots of love and support and kisses."
In the match, Sindhu was quick into the lead and never let her grip off it. She said that the trick was to be calm and patient.
"It was a fresh game altogether. We both had losses yesterday and came back. For us, it was very important in getting a medal for the country and at the Olympics. It's not easy. It's a big thing. There were really long rallies but I had to be patient and calm. Even though I was leading, I did not relax."
Sindhu concluded by saying that she will play in the 2024 Paris Olympics. "Definitely yes, Definitely."