PV Sindhu: India’s Golden Girl
Pasarla Venkata Sindhu became the first Indian to bring home the gold at the 2019 Badminton World Federation (BWF) World Championships held in Basel, Switzerland. This is indeed a very big deal for Indian sport. But PV Sindhu has been quite a big deal in the world of badminton for a while now. Here is what you need to know about our golden girl.
1) With her record BWF World Championship win, PV Sindhu now boasts the most number of medals won in women’s singles at the world championships on par only with Zhang Ning of China.
2) Interestingly, world number three (as of 2019) PV Sindhu secured her win in Basel by defeating world number four (2019) Nozomi Okuhara, with whom she has a long history. You could say they are volleying medals since Sindhu first defeated Nozomi in the semi-finals of the 2016 Rio Olympics, after which Nozomi’s major win against Sindhu came at the 2017 world championships in the finals in Glasgow, and now this!
3) PV Sindhu has been playing badminton since she was eight. She was only twenty years old when she was awarded a Padma Shri in 2015, and twenty one when she was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2016.
4) She was seventeen years old when she joined the top 20 international badminton players in the BWF World Ranking.
5) She became the first Indian woman ever to reach the finals of an Olympic badminton event at the 2016 Summer Olympics, and only the second Indian badminton player to win an Olympic medal.
6) She has appeared on the Forbes list of ‘Highest-Paid Female Athletes’ for two years straight in 2018 and 2019.
7) And if you think all of this comes easy to her, Sindhu trains for at least eight hours a day to keep fit. She was also not allowed to eat her favourite foods like sweet curd, Mysore pak or biryani during her formative years in training. It has been a journey of much hard work and sacrifices, but it is paying off.