The runners-up from Rio 2016 Olympics in the Women’s Badminton, Pusarla Venkata Sindhu had a lot riding on her shoulders. With the defending champion Carolina Marin of Spain not appearing for the games at Tokyo, this was Sindhu’s greatest shot at gold. And with the kind of form Sindhu was coming off late, it seemed to be a cherry on the top. Sindhu’s campaign this time around was one of her most dominant, to say the least! So, here’s a deep dive into how Sindhu performed at Tokyo 2020: –
Group Domination: –
Sindhu was picked in Group J of her category. She was placed alongside Israel’s Polikarpova and Hong Kong’s NY Cheung. With her strong gameplay which was an amalgamation of skills, agility, and most importantly aggression she made a mark! The first game against the Israeli opponent was won 21-7, 21-10 by Sindhu. With this dominant performance, her motive seemed clear. She was going for Gold!! Next in the queue was Cheung. Cheung had the taste of defeat as the scorecard read 21-9, 21-16. With this staging, she ended as the leader of the group and made it to the pre-quarters.
Pre-Quarters and Quarters: –
The round of 16 or to say the pre-quarters for Sindhu was against Danish Mia Blichfeldt. The game was a well-contested conquest. Blichfeldt was in no mood to fool around. She was taking Sindhu to the cleaners at times. However, PV, clinical as ever dealt with all of the attacks and kept her cool to go on and win the game in straight sets. The scoreline read 21-15, 21-13. The next up was the quarter-final. The opposition this time was World Number 5 Akane Yamaguchi. Raked number 7, Sindhu, might have definitely felt the pressure this time around! Nevertheless, she didn’t allow the previous results to bother her and again won the game in straight sets. In the end, the scorecard read 21-13, 22-20.
Semi’s heartbreak and Bronze Glory: –
With the mission of the Gold in her mind, Sindhu had qualified for the Semi-Finals at Tokyo. She was in the set of top 4. Her opposition this time wasn’t a cakewalk. It was World Number 1 Tai Tzu Ying of Taiwan. Nonetheless, Sindhu began the game on a positive note. The first set loss was very well fought. Sindhu made Tai, struggle for every point. She was making this one of her best performances of all time. And what a treat it was as a fan of the sport. Sindhu however came down fighting 21-18, 21-12, Tai wins!!
With now her eyes on the lesser coveted yet prestigious bronze Sindhu began her 3rd place game. It looked as if all her frustration and emotions of the loss were showered on the shuttle. Each shuttle was flying like a tracer bullet. Smash, smash, and smash, Sindhu seemed at her attacking best! And then came the ultimate finish. As the scoreline read 21-13, 21-15 Sindhu burst into emotions. She was now the only Indian athlete to win two Olympic medals!! The emotions of her coach Park Tae-Sang were just showing how hard they worked for it!!! And as Indians, it was our moment of pride!!!