From the publishers of THE HINDU

VOL.34 :: NO.39 :: Sep. 29, 2011

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BADMINTON / FEATURE

Aiming for the elite group

“ I really enjoyed the CYG competition. Except for the first round match, where I took time to settle down, I was never uncomfortable. Everything fell in place. In fact, what pleased me was the way I attacked, engaged my rivals in long rallies and, more importantly, showed good stamina,” says P. V. Sindhu in a chat with V. V. Subrahmanyam.

SUBIR ROY

P.V. Sindhu… “I am feeling great on winning my first women's gold in an international event. And that it came in the CYG is all the more special, for I put India in the gold medal winners' list.”

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu made a big impact in the international circuit once again by bagging the women's singles gold in the recent Commonwealth Youth Games in Scotland. Incidentally, this was the first gold for India at the Games and the 16-year-old badminton player from Hyderabad is delighted over her achievement.

Sindhu defeated Sonia Cheah of Malaysia 22-20, 21-8 in the final. And what was really impressive about her triumph was that she lost only one set in the entire tournament.

“I am feeling great on winning my first women's gold in an international event. And that it came in the CYG is all the more special, for I put India in the gold medal winners' list,” said Sindhu on arrival in Hyderabad.

“I dedicate this gold to my parents, fellow Academy players and the coaches particularly Gopi Anna (Pullela Gopi Chand),” said Sindhu, who hails from a family of sportspersons (her parents, P. V. Ramana and Vijaya, are former international volleyball players).

“I really enjoyed the CYG competition. Except for the first round match, where I took time to settle down, I was never uncomfortable. Everything fell in place. In fact, what pleased me was the way I attacked, engaged my rivals in long rallies and, more importantly, showed good stamina in Scotland,” said Sindhu, who is sponsored by BPCL and Olympic Gold Quest.

For the record, the CYG gold was Sindhu's second international title in the space of two months this year, the first being the Indonesian International Challenge, where she defeated the top seed and World No. 35 Fransiska Ratnasari (21-16, 21-11) in the final.

The youngster, who according to the chief national coach and former All England champion, Gopi Chand, is one of the best talents capable of emulating the feats of the more famous Saina Nehwal, is now looking to improve her performance in the women's circuit.

“I am not sure whether I will play in the next CYG because I might just cross the age limit. So even in this context the gold in Scotland is memorable. But right now I am keen on improving my defence in order to be a much better player,” said Sindhu.

What next?

“I will be training hard in preparation for the World Championship (under-19) in Chinese Taipei next month. That should be a real big challenge,” said Sindhu.

Gopi is not surprised by his ward's performance. “I just hope she keeps winning important titles to move into the elite group and be a force to reckon with,” he remarked.



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