Highlights

  • Sindhu set for return after injury
  • 2-time Olympic medallist to be in action at Badminton Asia Team championships

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PV Sindhu eyes Paris Olympics Gold with renewed strategy and mindset

In her quest to rediscover form, PV Sindhu parted ways with Korean coach Park Tae-sang and has since collaborated with various experts, including India's badminton legend Prakash Padukone.

PV Sindhu eyes Paris Olympics Gold with renewed strategy and mindset

After a hiatus due to injury, PV Sindhu, the illustrious two-time Olympic medalist, is gearing up for a formidable challenge on her path to the Paris Olympics. Acknowledging the hurdles ahead, Sindhu emphasizes the need for a strategic and intelligent approach to clinch the much-desired gold medal in Paris. The former world champion has faced a series of setbacks, including injuries and a dip in form, which have tested her resilience over the last year and a half.

Sindhu's journey has been marked by significant milestones and challenges alike. The athlete suffered a stress fracture in her left ankle during the 2022 Commonwealth Games campaign, followed by another injury to her left knee at the French Open, sidelining her for three months. Despite these obstacles, Sindhu remains determined, drawing on her extensive experience and the lessons learned from past Olympic Games in 2016 and 2020.

"I would say, this Olympics is going to be a different experience because the 2016 and 2020 Olympics were very different. Paris will be more challenging but at the same time, I have much more experience and I will have to be much smarter this time," she said during an interaction with PTI at the Great Place To Work's FOR ALL summit in Mumbai,

Sindhu also shared her insights into the competitive landscape of women's badminton, stating, "In women's circuit, players in the top 10-15 are tough. It is important to be focused and have a strategy so that you can switch to plan B if plan A doesn't work. It is important to stay calm as sometimes you can go blank. It is important to have a strong mindset."

In her quest to rediscover her form, Sindhu has made significant changes to her coaching and support team. She parted ways with Korean coach Park Tae-sang and has since collaborated with various experts, including India's badminton legend Prakash Padukone. Under the guidance of Indonesia's Agus Santoso at the Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, Sindhu is focusing on all aspects of her game, from physical conditioning to technical skills.

"I have a new trainer, physio, nutritionist, coach, and mentor, so everything is very new, and I am happy how they have been supporting me and are helping me from where I am and where I should be in the next couple of months," said Sindhu, who will return to action at the Badminton Asia Team championships in Malaysia from February 13 to 18.

"I am very fortunate to work with Prakash sir because he is such a legend and him being a mentor helps. His training methods and ideas are helping me. As for Agus, I knew him for a long time when he was training our men's players. We will have to see how I do, it has been just a month. So things will be good moving forward. I am back to my full fitness and I am looking forward to Asia team championships," she added.

Asked if the focus is on fine-tuning strokes and strategising against the top players, Sindhu said: "Definitely yes. After the injury, it is important to focus on physical, mental, and technique, where we focus on a lot of skills. We have been working on every aspect at the moment.

Reflecting on the lows of her career, Sindhu shared poignant memories of overcoming injuries and the emotional rollercoaster of her Olympic experiences.

"In 2015, I had a stress fracture injury. I had pain and I played with pain for six months." "I had just 6-7 months to come back and qualify for Rio Olympics. There were many doubts if I could do it or not. I trusted myself and went with the flow and got a silver in 2016.

"After 4 years, there was Tokyo, but due to Covid, it was postponed. There were expectations and I couldn't go to the finals. I was upset and sad and my coach told me that there is a lot of difference between a bronze and fourth position and that completely changed my mind.

"I had mixed reactions after the semifinal loss. I had tears in my eyes and I didn't know should I be happy or sad that I missed out of a final. The next day I was at the podium, winning the bronze, so it was harder."

"In 2016, the medal was confirmed after I reached finals but in Tokyo, I didn't know if I would win one. It was a hard-earned medal," she concluded.

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(With PTI inputs)


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