Rio de Janeiro: Ecstatic but unruffled by the burden of expectations after storming into the women’s singles badminton finals of the Rio Olympic Games, Indian shuttler P.V. Sindhu on Thursday said she is in fact looking forward to end ace shooter Abhinav Bindra’s reign as the country’s sole individual Olympic gold medallist.
Sindhu, a two-time World Championship bronze-medallist, defeated World No. 6 Nozomi Okuhara of Japan 21-19, 21-10 in 51 minutes in the semi-final and guaranteed India at least a silver medal in the event. The World No.10 from Hyderabad will now face two-time World Champion and top seed Carolina Marin of Spain in the final on Friday.
“My target will be to win the gold, and I will give my heart out. I feel I really worked hard each and every time. Everybody’s aim is to get a medal at the Olympics, one more match to go. Definitely, I feel that I’ve a chance," Sindhu said. “It’s nothing like pressure. It’s just that I have to give my 100%. There’s one more match to go, I’m really prepared for tomorrow’s match. It’s not going to be easy. She is a really tough opponent. It’s the Olympic final, and she’s playing really well. It depends who gives her best and does well will win the final tomorrow."
Responding to Bindra’s tweet on how he wished Sindhu would join him in India’s gold-medalist club, where he is the sole member, the shuttler said: “I would make that wish come true. I would give my heart out for that and play my best."
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“... First time in Olympics and also playing the final tomorrow, is a very great feeling. Just one more match to go. I’m really very focused. Let’s hope for the best," she added.
Talking about her strategy on the road to the final, Sindhu said she just took one match at a time. “I did not think so far. I just kept on going every single match. The immediate target was to win the next match. If you keep on winning you are going to get a medal," she said.
Sindhu’s assured medal comes less than 12 hours after wrestler Sakshi Malik opened India’s tally at the Rio Games by clinching the 58kg freestyle bronze through repechage. Congratulating Sakshi, Sindhu said: “I did not meet her. I saw her on TV, and I definitely congratulate her for her bronze. She played really well. It’s a great thing for India."
On her strategy Friday against the southpaw Marin, Sindhu said she would just have to go by her coach Pullela Gopichand. “She’s playing really well. It’s going to be a good match. I’ll be really prepared for everything. It wont’ be easy. Each one has a different style of play and strategy. It just depends on that day. She’s left-handed. I have my coach he will tell me the strategies. It will be a different condition. it will be very different."