Work hard, Love your sport: P V Sindhu
India’s first badminton World Champion P V Sindhu is back to fitness regimen. The golden girl's road to success at the BWF World Championships was built around her exceptional fitness programme. On August 25, two-time silver medallist Sindhu became the first Indian to win the World Championships gold in badminton.
On returning to her hometown on Aug 27 evening, after meeting PM Narendra Modi and sports minister Kiren Rijiju, the 24-year-old shuttler went back to her daily schedule. She has begun working on fitness again. That's because Sindhu's road to success at the BWF World Championships is more than just her gameplay. It is a story of years of hard work that brought glory to the shuttler who simply loves her game, believes in herself and gives 100 percent to Badminton. Sindhu concedes that expectations will be sky high but that's something that will also give her confidence.
Anju Grover for Indian Currents spoke to P V Sindhu who says hard work, trust in oneself and focus can help sportspersons to conquer the world. Sindhu's top priority is to win an elusive Olympic gold in Tokyo next year, but the reigning world champion's immediate target is to do well in the coming tournaments in China and Korea.
IC: What’s your reaction to your historic win in the World Badminton championship? Were you confident of your victory in the final game as you outclassed Nozomi Okuhara of Japan?
P V Sindhu: I played with confidence. I am very happy with the win. I had prepared myself for the game which I do for every game. Every match was very important for me from the very first match. I gave my 100 per cent. So, for me, each round was important. And I gave my best.
IC: What is your top priority?
My immediate target is to do well in three to four tournaments in China and Korea as this is the qualifying year for the quadrennial extravaganza. Winning a medal in Olympics is top in the priority list.
IC: Have the expectations of people become more?
The expectations were always high because people would want you to get to the top all the time. You have to chase the target, work hard and give your best.
IC: Your victory has brought laurels to India. Do you think, things for young badminton players would become better in the country?
Yes, definitely things will change. India has got a recognition at the International level in Badminton. The resources are growing. At the same time, lots of youngsters are coming forward to take up badminton as sport. We are now getting support from various quarters including the government.
IC: Unlike in cricket, the attention of government and Badminton Authority of India is not so much on the sport. Do you think that more emphasis should be given to badminton and more facilities should be provided to young players, that infrastructure should also be increased?
Efforts are being made by the government through various programmes like Khelo India to promote Badminton. At the grassroots level, efforts are being made to encourage students to join any sport of their choice. These efforts will help students decide if they want to make a career in sports. Promoting sports from the grassroots level is a very good idea.
IC: Cricket is the most popular sport in India and it is played almost everywhere. No other game has got support like cricket in India…
I agree cricket was the most popular sport in India. Things have changed now. Players are doing well in other sports like Badminton, Wrestling and Shooting. Girls and boys are doing well in other sports as well. In 2016, wrestler Sakshi Malik had won bronze medal in Olympics. So it’s just not cricket, but every sport is actually doing equally good.
IC: How critical is the support of any sports body for better performance of players in sports. For instance, BCCI, which is one of the strongest cricket bodies in the world, has promoted cricket in the country…one day matches to 20-20 and IPL. Do you think if Badminton Association of India is financially strong then one can expect badminton will also be played everywhere?
The Sports Authority of India and Badminton Association of India are encouraging youngsters to play Badminton. They motivate players to play tournaments. We are thankful to both SAI and BAI for the support.
IC: Who would you give credit for your victory… parents or coach?
The credit for my victory was not just my hard work but strong support of my parents and hard work of coach and others who supported me. My father has sacrificed.
IC: You have got financial support from your parents. Another player Saina Nehwal too got support, including financial support, from her parents. But not all sportswomen especially those from small towns can afford or get such support. How will they make a place for themselves in sports?
The government is coming forward to help sportswomen from small towns. It’s not that everybody is born rich. It is also true that everybody should need to work hard to create a place for themselves in their chosen games. Programmes like Khelo India are helping players to do well. At grassroots level it is compulsory to take part in some sport activity. That's why, few of them who could not afford, have performed well at certain level.
IC: What are your tips for sportspersons so that they too win a medal in international championships or Olympic Games and bring laurels to the country?
Everybody should work hard. You should love your sport. You need to love what you want to achieve. When you want to achieve something in your career, you should always do it with a lot of interest. You will have to make lot of sacrifices in life. Also, there will be ups and downs but you will have to believe in yourself... and hope that you can achieve something.
IC: What is your message for young badminton players?
They should work hard. They should love what they do. They need to be focussed. They should give their best. As I said, sacrifices will be there. Ups and downs will be there and that is when you need to come back, show strong will and perhaps then you can achieve something.
(Published on 02nd September 2019, Volume XXXI, Issue 36)