Excerpts of an interview with the champion…
How do you describe your journey in the last five years. Right from Rio a lot of things happened and there were some controversies as well?
There were lot of ups and downs in the last five years. A lot has changed in my game. I lost a few and won a few. I won the worlds. Altogether, I have learnt a lot more. I think game-wise I have improved…I utilised the time I got in a very good way. I got to learn new skills and new technique. Park was always with me. Playing in Gachibowli is always an advantage. That is best decision we have taken and we got players from the Suchitra Academy. BAI, SAI and the state government gave whatever we want.
When are going to have the ice-cream with the Prime Minister. Which flavour you want to eat?
(Laughs). I haven’t decided about that so far.
In the second set against Tai Tzu Ying you lost way. What happened there?
Firstly, it is not easy. In the semifinals I had done well in the first game. Had I won the first game it could have been different. In the second game I have made some mistakes. It was not just my game. It was Tai Tzu’s day. Yesterday (final day) was not her day but day before yesterday was hers. But I am happy as I have got that medal and had again proved myself.
In Pics: PV Sindhu’s biggest career highlights
<p>PV Sindhu became the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals, securing a bronze after a straight-game win over world no. 9 He Bing Jiao of China in the badminton women’s singles event at Tokyo Olympics. (PTI Photo)</p>
Over the years, Gopi and Saina have inspired you in different ways. After you got the medal have they congratulated you, did you hear from them?
Gopi sir messaged me congratulations. Saina no. We don’t talk much.
You have been training with Park for about one-and-half years. What was Gopi’s involvement in the last few months?
From February only me and Park are only training. There is no involvement of Gopi sir. He has been training other youngsters. Park was exclusively working with me. We have brought sparring partners from Suchitra Academy
But being a chief coach, he trained you for long. Didn’t he involve in any of you training?
He did not involve much.
From 2017 till now you have worked with three different coaches. Isn’t it difficult to adjust to their training methods?
My journey with last three coaches has been good. I have learnt a lot from each coach. It’s always good to learn and have that skill in you and use that when needed. Mulyo (Hondoyo) was comparatively different, Kim (Ji Hyun) was different and Park has a different mindset. I have learnt a lot from different coaches. It shouldn’t take a lot of time to adjust with the coaches.
What did your coach tell you after you lost the semifinal?
Park talked to me and said there is one more match to go, it is not over yet. He told me that there is a lot of difference between a bronze medal and a fourth place. He said I should not be sad. The next when I woke up I was determined to win.
Tokyo Olympics: PV Sindhu secures second successive Olympic medal, dad expresses happiness
You always go and hug your opponent and talk to them after the match. Is there any reason why you do that?
During matches they are just your opponents and you fight against them. But once it’s over we are all friends. It just takes a couple of minutes or seconds to say hard luck and communicate with them. That kind of relationship is very very important. If you see someone lose, you know how much it hurts. So when Tai Tzu lost the final yesterday, I went and talked to her. I told her it’s ok to lose. Just enjoy the moment you have won an Olympic silver.
You won silver at Rio, bronze at Tokyo. Will it be gold at Paris?
There is still time to plan for Paris. I just want to cherish this moment and enjoy it right now. I will definitely play in Paris and give my best there.