Sports

Sindhu’s smashing play fires up the nation

V Rishi Kumar Hyderabad | Updated on January 27, 2018

BL20_P5_SINDHU

Badminton star offers panacea to medal-starved India

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu has become the darling of the nation with her sterling performance at the Rio Olympics.

The 21-year-old badminton star from Hyderabad has carried the nation’s hopes on her slender shoulders to come up with her best, beating top ranked players. In doing so, she has cheered up the entire nation starved of a top slot in the medals podium.

Sporting family

Born into a family of volleyball players — PV Ramana and P Vijaya — in 1995, Sindhu started playing badminton when she was barely eight, inspired by the performance of Pullela Gopichand, the All England Badminton Champion, and her coach, who honed her skills and guided her.

Hyderabad is home to a number of badminton stars, and Sindhu grew up watching the likes of Saina Nehwal, who won the Olympics bronze in the London games.

Her father Ramana, an Arjuna awardee, sighted the potential, talent and drive in Sindhu and encouraged her in the sport. Backed by her coach Gopichand, she made it big and went on to be awarded the Padma Sri at a young age.

Over the years, Sindhu has gradually emerged as a fierce and an aggressive player from a defensive rally-based approach.

Her hunger to win set her apart.

After a number of achievements in the domestic circuits, and laurels in tourneys across the globe, Sindhu first made her mark in 2013 when she won the Malaysian Open and followed this up with other wins including the Macau Open. The ace shuttler earlier won the bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Clearly, her strength lies in her aggressive game, and her long reach adds to her advantage.

Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, meanwhile, are making rival bids to claim credit for her achievements, much to the chagrin of sports lovers.

Published on August 19, 2016

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