Reigning world champion PV Sindhu said that she was desperate to win the gold medal at Basel in 2019 because she wanted to overcome the image of being a silver medallist at big events.
Sindhu was speaking to Indian cricketers Jemimah Rodrigues and Smriti Mandhana on a YouTube talk show titled ‘Double Trouble’.
The 24-year-old beat Nozomi Okuhara in the final of the 2019 World Championships to become the first Indian shuttler ever to clinch gold medal at the event. And she recalled how she egged herself on before the final to end the streak of two silver medals at the tournament.
“At the recent World championships I was in the final again,” Sindhu said. “I already had two bronze and two silver...and [before the final] I was like ‘I HAVE TO win this match’. I was so desperate that I didn’t know what I would do [if I lost] so I just wanted to give my 100%. I didn’t want people to say ‘Silver Sindhu’. At some point of time that gets into your mind and I told myself before the final ‘No, come on. I need to just give my 100% no matter what and win this.’ And when I got on the court, I was just quick on my feet and did not think about anything else other than winning the match.”
She added: “After the 2016 Olympics, I had seven to eight silvers in a row in 2017. People started telling me that ‘you have a final phobia’ and always lose in the final.”
Sindhu also said that beating the then reigning Olympic champion Li Xuerui in 2012 was a big turning point in her career. The Rio Olympic silver medallist had beaten Li at the China Masters in September 2012 by a scoreline of 21-19, 9-21, 21-16.
Rodrigues and Mandhana also asked Sindhu about the criticism that comes along with losing at the business end of big tournaments, the importance of understanding menstrual health, how women’s sport is progressing in India and much more in what was lively interaction between three trailblazers of Indian sport.
You can watch the entire video here: