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PV Sindhu Is a Work In Progress to Strike Gold At Global Events

India's PV Sindhu is one of the most talented badminton players in the world right now, and her performance in the last two years speaks for itself. Right from the Rio Olympics Silver, to the World Championship silver, the 22-year-old has seen it all. But what eludes her, is a gold at such global events

Madhav Agarwal | News18 Sports

Updated:December 19, 2017, 11:21 AM IST
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PV Sindhu Is a Work In Progress to Strike Gold At Global Events
File Image of PV Sindhu (Photo Credit: Getty Images)
New Delhi: Hardwork is the key to success. A champion athlete trains tirelessly to be the best in the business, and plays to win. But when a certain player falters at the last hurdle, it is nothing but a heartbreak for everyone.

India's PV Sindhu is one of the most talented badminton players in the world right now, and her performance in the last two years speaks for itself. Right from the Rio Olympics Silver, to the World Championship silver, the 22-year-old has seen it all. But what eludes her, is a gold at such global events.

It was the occasion of Dubai World Superseries Final—a tournament where the best eight players in the world participate—and Sindhu had done everything right till the night of the finals. In her last match, she faced Japan's Akane Yamaguchi, whom she had convincingly defeated in the league match, a couple of days back. But this time round, the Japanese hit back and defeated Sindhu in the finals 15-21, 21-12, 21-19, to take home the trophy.

After the first game, it looked like Sindhu is going to run away with the match, but the Japanese girl showed a lot of tenacity, and cameback in the second game. Yamaguchi, right from the start of the second game ensured that she engaged Sindhu in long rallies, and ran her opponent out of stamina. Come the third game, a visibly tired Sindhu, couldn't move freely on the court, and was struggling to create enough spaces to hit her shots, and lost the game when in mattered the most.

"The match against Yamaguchi was one of the best Sindhu has played, according to me. At one particular time it was anybody's match. You should take into account luck factor also. Having said that, Sindhu looked a little tired out towards the end. A player should be prepared for everything, so in the end I think the Japanese girl was better on the day. But Sindhu is playing wonderfully well. I firmly believe that at that time Sindhu could have played some risky shots, and had she remained positive, a win would have been possible," one of the senior-most coaches in India, SM Arif told News 18 Sports.

But the bigger question that lies here is that, how come a player of Sindhu's caliber makes mistakes in the finals of such big events? One can think of no answer, but lament the fact that even after having come so close to winning golds at each of these global events, she has had to settle as the second best.

At the Olympics, it was Carolina Marin who beat the Indian girl 19-21, 21-12, 21-15. Sindhu had won the first game narrowly, but it was a big advantage to her going forward in the match. But from there on it was just a Marin show, and the Spaniard clinched the gold.

At the World Championships this year, it was Japan's Nozomi Okuhara who got the better of the Indian 21-19, 20-22, 21-19. It was the match where both the girls had put in every ounce of their energy into the game, and the result could have swayed in anyone's favour. In the end, the Japanese girl, perhaps stretched herself a little more, and won the match.

"I think we shouldn't stress too much about Sindhu missing out on gold for the third time. I firmly believe that the gold will come for sure. This girl is immensely talented, and has got a lot of confidence to beat any player in the world. We should stop analysing the causes of defeats in all these three finals, now that they are over. The world championship match was the closest I have seen, and this one was the best I have seen from Sindhu. But then keeping the 'faltering in finals' debate aside, Sindhu should look to improve her stamina. That will hold her in good stead," Arif added.

Consider this: Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia is widely regarded as one of the best shuttlers world has seen, but he too has had it tough in the finals. In his decade long, illustrious career, Chong Wei has never won a gold in which world championships, or the Olympics, but that doesn't make him less of a player. In fact he remains a contender to win a gold at next world championships.

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| Edited by: Madhav Agarwal
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