Pullela Gopichand was not in Tokyo to witness his ward PV Sindhu’s second Olympic medal but congratulated her and said it was all down to the hard work and hours put by her, the coaches and the support staff. Sindhu became the first Indian woman and only the second India to win two individual medals at the Olympic Games as she bagged the bronze medal with a 21-13, 21-15 win over China’s He Bingjiao.
Sindhu is only the fourth female shuttler in Olympic history to win medals in back-to-back Games. She was on her aggressive best throughout the match and remained in her zone as she beat Bingjiao in 53 minutes.
“Congrats to our awesome Sindhu on her 2nd successive Olympics medal. While it is all due to the hard work by her and the team of coaches and support staff, I also want to express my gratitude to the support of Sports Minsitry, Indian Government, SAI and BAI. Also thank govt of Telangana for alotting the stadium for the players and great to see badminton win medals in three successive Games," Gopichand said.
Sindhu produced a dominating show against the Chinese who had no answer to the Indian star’s powerful smashes and court coverage. The Chinese didn’t give Sindhu pace to play her power game but the Indian soon worked her way around even as her opponent committed a few unforced errors. Sindhu ended another superb rally with a cross court smash and entered the interval with another down the line hit at 11-8.
The Indian stepped up the pace after the break to gather three more points and looked in total control to pocket the opening game when her opponent went wide. After change of ends, Sindhu continued her aggressive game, egged on by coach Park Tae-Sang from the sidelines, to lead 4-1 with a cross court return.
Bingjiao tried to change the momentum but Sindhu rode on her attacking half smashes and slices to keep her nose ahead at the interval with a three point advantage. Bing Jiao erased the deficit quickly before a precise smash on the line helped Sindhu wrest back control. She soon restored the three point advantage with another cross court drop.
The Indian didn’t let the advantage slip and grabbed five match points with another of trademark smash and when Bing Jiao went wide, she held her head in disbelief before letting out a cry of victory.