India’s Olympic silver medallist shuttller P V Sindhu today said she was focussed on doing well in the forthcoming World Championship in Glasgow and was working hard with her coaches to be in her best form during the prestigious tournament. “It (World Championship next month) is a big event. I am looking forward to it and working hard for the tournament. It is not going to be easy, I have to be at my best,” Sindhu said.
The Indian, currently ranked 5th in the world, has previously won bronze medals at the Championship in 2013 and 2014. Having stolen the thunder from Saina Nehwal following her exploits in the Rio Games, Sindhu has since won two Super Series titles (Indian Open and China Open) but is aware that the achievements come with a bigger responsibility. “Of course, life has changed after Rio. Winning a silver medal was a huge moment for me. It has come with a lot of responsibilities. I am expected to win (more) these days. I have to work hard and keep doing well in the tournaments ahead,” she told PTI.
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“I am lucky to have got to work with a coach like Gopi Sir (P Gopichand). I have been associated with him for several years. Me and the other players have to be thankful to him, for his guidance. The infrastructure is very good and the arrival of Indonesian coaches (Mulyo Handoyo and Hariawan) has been of great help,” the ace shuttler said when asked about Gopichand’s role in her development.
She gave a thumbs up to the good performance of the Indian male shuttlers in recent times with Kidambi Srikanth claiming back-to-back Super Series titles in Indonesia and Australia and B Sai Praneeth claiming his maiden Super Series title in Singapore (defeating Srikanth in the final). “The men (shuttlers) have been doing very well, getting great results. They have been working very hard with the Indonesian coaches and that is paying off. In the years to come, many more strong players will emerge in men’s section,” Sindhu, who was here for a promotional event, said.
“Badminton has witnessed a spurt in recent times and the Indians doing well at the global level is a positive sign. The good work done by the players and coaches is bearing fruit,” she pointed out. Asked about her rivalry with Saina Nehwal, who blazed a trail on the women’s circuit before Sindhu joined the big league, she said, “When we play matches, we are rivals. Off the court, we are friends. She trains in Bengaluru and me in Hyderabad. We have our individual styles and try to win when we meet in a match.”