After an epic final at the World Badminton Championship, India’s PV Sindhu bagged the silver medal after a valiant effort against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in a thrilling encounter. Even though Sindhu ended up losing the 110-minute epic final which included a 73-stroke marathon rally, former World No 1 Prakash Padukone felt her effort was more than worthy of praise.

“I would personally consider this as the best ever performance by an Indian sportsperson of either gender in the history of Indian sport,” said Padukone, as reported by Times of India. “Even though she finished runner-up, Sindhu showed tremendous grit, fighting qualities, never-say-die attitude and stamina,” added Padukone.

Padukone added that the final was a display of high quality badminton.

“Both players displayed very high quality of badminton and never gave up till the end. Aspiring youngsters would do well to emulate the qualities displayed by these two players,” he said.

Chief coach Pullela Gopichand also backed Sindhu, but stressed on the fact that she is still a ‘work in progress’ and is yet to reach her full potential.

“That’s the beauty of Sindhu. She isn’t a finished product yet. There are quite a few areas that she can improve upon. But despite that she already has three world championship medals and an Olympic silver. Before Rio there was big gap between her and the top level. But now she is there,” said Gopichand.

“There will be many more world championships and she will come back stronger the next time and should win the title in the coming years,” he added.

“At 22, she has won medals for four consecutive years under her belt and by the end of her career, she will have many golds. We are very fortunate that we have players like Sindhu and Saina, who have gone up and raised the bar of fitness. A good performance from the entire team including fitness coaches,” added Gopichand.