From the plush, five-star hotels in south Mumbai to the cramped Mumbai Press Club in the same vicinity, Rio Olympics silver medallist PV Sindhu has been basking in glory. From felicitation to endorsing products following her Rio exploits, the shuttler has been busy.
However, the 21-year-old has not lost focus of her game, though. Soon after returning from Rio, Sindhu was put through her training sessions by her trainer at the Pullela Gopichand Academy, Kiran Challagundla, at the hotel gyms in cities that she visited.On Friday in the city to promote an ayurveda health drink, Sindhu told DNA: “I have gone back to training whenever I got the time away from the felicitation programmes.
“Whenever I travel, I used to train. If it was to places in and around Hyderabad, I’d return the same evening and train the next morning. I would train on outstation trips. It is important to go back to training as soon as possible and that is is what I did.”
Sindhu will play in her first tournament next week, after becoming India’s first woman to win an Olympic silver on August 19, in the Denmark Open Superseries Premier in Odense. She has been seeded sixth in the event and was runner-up to Chinese Li Xuerui last year. She will follow it up with the French Open Superseries in Paris the subsequent week.
Sindhu leaves for the twin-leg European tournaments on Saturday.
The Rio medal will “give me a lot of confidence and I hope to go further,” she said.
“Responsibilities (read expectations) are always high from now on. And it will only be more. Everybody’s eyes will be on me. I should not take it as pressure. If you take pressure and think ‘I have to win, I have to win’, that is not correct. I will go to the court thinking I will give 100 per cent and play my game.”
Winning the Olympic silver medal “took a long time to sink in”, she said. “Now it has sunk in a bit. I have been preparing for the upcoming tournaments. Preparation-wise, everything is fine,” she added.
Wrestler Sakshi Malik said in the aftermath of her Rio bronze medal that she wanted to get back to the sport. Did Sindhu also feel the same way?
“The felicitations were nothing like distractions. It was very kind and nice of people who have been affectionate and showed me so much love. I did not think there will be this much reception and I’d like to thank everyone,” she said.
And, unlike gymnast Dipa Karmakar, she also has no such problems with her high-end car presented by Sachin Tendulkar in August. “(Maintaining the car) is not a problem for me. For Dipa, with the roads and everything, it is a bit difficult. Hence, she could not manage. I have already driven it and it is really nice and fantastic.”