It was a complete effort with a lot of sacrifices by everyone involved in the journey in the last few years in search of the Tokyo Olympic medal, said P.V. Sindhu, who bagged a bronze in Tokyo, her second Olympic medal after the 2016 Rio silver.
“I am grateful to each and every team member who made me realise the dream of another Olympic medal. No doubt, the target was gold.
“But, getting a bronze is also a special feeling for me given the backdrop of how the pandemic disrupted the whole world, especially our tournaments schedule,” Sindhu told the media at her residence on Wednesday.
“I must thank my coach (Park Tae Sang, who was with her at the briefing) for the kind of sacrifices he has made by missing his family for almost a year since he joined me,” she said.
“It is a dream come true for all of us, including the sparring partners from Suchitra Academy, the two gentlemen Praveen Raju and Pradeep Raju from that Academy, fitness trainer Srikanth Verma and physio Evangeline,” Sindhu said.
“Well, when my fitness trainer says that I could withstand the training load without any complaints, I must remind myself that unless we put in that kind of effort we cannot be in this position (with an Olympic medal). This is just the beginning and there are many more laurels to come in the run-up to the Paris Olympics,” she said.
Planning and effort
“It has been a really tough year in the run-up to the Olympics. And, this bronze medal would not have been possible but for so much planning and effort,” she said.
“Well, if I keep playing well and winning tournaments, then the World No.1 can also be a certainty. The preparations for 2024 Paris Olympics will begin after a short break as the ultimate goal is to win gold there,” a smiling Sindhu said. “I will continue to train at the Gachibowli Indoor Stadium,” she added.
Korean coach Park said Sindhu’s bronze was the most unforgettable moment of his life.
“This being my first Olympic medal as a coach, I cherish every bit of it. Come on, Sindhu let us start training from tomorrow to get the gold in Paris,” he said with a big smile.
“The pandemic proved to be very tough for athletes too. We were patient right through and really worked hard,” Park said.
Sindhu’s fitness trainer at Suchitra Academy, Srikanth said the training programme for the shuttler was a real torture and any other athlete would have given up.