It is a very big day for the ace shuttler PV Sindhu and her coach Pullela Gopichand. After being accorded a rousing welcome on her arrival to home town and felicitated by Telangana government for her stupendous performance at Rio Games, Sindhu while addressing a press conference at the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy said that she was feeling on top of the world and insisted that her dream has come true. Gopichand also took to the occasion to heap praise on star badminton player, saying the proudest moment for him was the fact that she performed at the big stage.
“When it is needed, you have performed. I think it is huge. When you give in your best and push hard, there is enough reason to be proud about,” he said. “I’m happy with Srikanth Kidambi for giving his heart out and giving his best and Sindhu for the way she has fought. We have a motivated group of gems who’ll push each other positively and hopefully we will remain in contention and win gold in 2020 Tokyo Olympics,” he added. The 21-year-old shuttler returned home with her silver Olympic medal, the first won by an Indian woman, to the kind of welcome only World Cup winning cricket teams have got so far.
Following her successful feat at the Rio Olympics 2016, Sindhu earlier received a grand welcome at the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport. Sindu was received with rousing reception as scores of fans and well wishers thronged to the airport to have a glimpse of the ace shuttler. Later the duo (Sindhu and Gopichand) left in an open top bus with traffic diversions in place along the RGI Airport and Gachibowli Stadium route with people standing in hundreds along the route to welcome her and cheer for the local girl. Telangana Ministers Nayani Narasimha Reddy, Mahender Reddy and Srinivas Yadav and senior Congress leader V. Hanumanth Rao, Andhra Pradesh Ministers Devineni Uma, Chinarajappa were among those who welcomed Sindhu.
Olympic Association of Telangana president K. Ranga Rao presented a bouquet to the Rio star performer. The Telangana government has announced a Rs. 5 crore cash reward for the 21-year-old, a 1,000 square yard housing site near the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Gachibowli and a government job. Although Sindhu missed out on gold, she displayed a superb fighting spirit against Spaniard world number one Carolina Marin throughout the summit showdown match to earn India’s second medal in Rio Games. Sindhu has now become the second Indian player in badminton to win an Olympic medal after Saina Nehwal, who had clinched bronze in London four years ago.