Indian Sports Minister Anurag Thakur hailed PV Sindhu as a sporting icon and called her one of the greatest Indian Olympians. The Indian shuttler recently became the most decorated Indian female athlete to win consecutive Olympics medals after she won Bronze defeating China’s He Bingjiao.
The 26-year-old had a shot at Gold but she lost her semifinal against Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu-ying and had to muster her courage to feature and win the Bronze medal by defeating her Chinese opponent. The Bronze medal at Tokyo Olympics came after a wait of five years when she won the Silver medal at Rio Olympics back in 2016.
Therefore on her return to India, she was handed a warm welcome by the sports officials and fans.
“PV Sindhu is amongst India’s greatest Olympians. She is India’s icon, inspiration and has caught the imagination of every Indian who dreams of playing for the country,” said Thakur in a ceremony in which Sindhu was felicitated by him.
“Her incredible achievement – that of winning two Olympic medals in two consecutive Olympic Games will inspire a generation of budding athletes. Her success shows how the Target Olympic Podium Scheme of the government has nurtured Olympic hopefuls towards a podium finish,” he continued.
Sindhu became India’s second medallist after weightlifter Mirabai Chanu won the Silver medal at Women’s 49kg Weightlifting. Also, boxer Lovlian Borgohain is also assured of an Olympics medal as she has reached the semifinals in the women’s 69kg.
Sindhu highlighted how the Bronze in Tokyo was tougher than the Silver in Rio 2016. The Indian shuttler was a new kid in the block back in Rio when she surprised everyone with her performances. But here in Tokyo, she is more experienced and one of India’s top medal hopefuls. So the pressure to deliver was huge for the Indian shuttler.
After beating He Bingjiao and winning the Bronze medal, Sindhu said, “I have no words because it’s definitely a proud moment for me and also for the country and getting a medal at the Olympics for the 2nd time makes me feel like I am at the top of the world.”
Sindhu ended with the Bronze medal while Tai Tzu-ying who was the favourite in the Gold medal match succumbed under pressure and lost and had to settle with the Silver medal. China’s Chen Yufei took home the Gold medal after a solid win over her opponent from Chinese Taipei in the finals.