Reigning world champion PV Sindhu on Monday spoke about her journey to the bronze medal at Tokyo Olympics and how the training regime with coach Park Tae Sang as well as his words before the match on Sunday played a crucial role.

Sindhu said she was completely blank after winning a second successive Olympic medal and it took her a while to realise the enormity of her historic achievement in the ongoing Games.

The 26-year-old Indian etched her name among the all-time greats after winning badminton’s women’s singles bronze medal to add to the silver she won at Rio de Janeiro five years ago. She became the first Indian woman and second overall from the country to achieve the feat.

“...I was blank, my coach was in tears, it was a big moment, I hugged him and thanked him. I didn’t know what to do for five-six seconds, I shouted so all emotions came together at that moment,” she said during a virtual press conference.

In the third-place play-off, Sindhu beat China’s He Bing Jiao. The win came after a painful loss in the semifinals to world no 1 Tai Tzu Ying.

Sindhu said coach Park Tae-sang’s encouragement helped her to recover from the semifinal loss and claim the bronze for the country.

“After semis, I was really sad, I was in tears but my coach said it is not over yet. There were mixed emotions, if I should be sad or happy but he told one thing. He said ‘there is a lot of difference between a fourth position and a bronze’ and that really hit me,” she said.

“I went with the mindset that I have to give my 100%.”

Responding about a question about whether this medal vindicated Sindhu’s decision to move out of the Pullela Gopichand Academy and train at the Gachibowli indoor stadium (as it was similar to the venue in Tokyo), she said there was no controversy to look for there.

Sindhu said it was one of the best decisions, especially since drift played a role during the Games at the Musashino Forest Plaza.

“Yeah, from the beginning there was no controversy ... We had this opportunity to play in conditions similar to Olympics, so from February we have been playing there, it has really helped us because drift played a big role and I learnt a lot in Gachibowli, I learnt to control the shuttle better.

“It had international courts with air conditioners, which was important. So I feel it was the best decision...We got used to different players from Suchitra academy also. so it was important.”

Sindhu also spoke about her interaction with players after the match, specifically referring to the moments she spent with silver medallist Tai Tzu Ying.

You can watch the full interaction organised by the Badminton Association of India:

Inputs from PTI

Also read:

Tokyo 2020: Behind PV Sindhu’s success, an incredible mindset to win and a strong support system

One of India’s greatest athletes: Reactions to PV Sindhu’s badminton bronze medal at Tokyo 2020

If I can do it, everybody can: PV Sindhu hopes her second Olympics medal will inspire youngsters

Tokyo 2020: Worked hard on PV Sindhu’s defence, glad it worked, says coach Park Tae-Sang

Full text: Tai Tzu Ying reveals moving gesture by PV Sindhu after medal matches at Tokyo 2020