PV Sindhu Biography
PV Sindhu: We all know her as the woman who made our country proud not only in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics by being the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal in Women’s singles badminton but also in the 2018 Commonwealth games by winning yet another silver in Women’s singles. P. V. Sindhu went on to showcase her talent in various international games and championships becoming one of the truly proud additions to represent our country in global sports.
How did this all come about though, do you wonder? Where did she get her start? What are the hurdles and ups and downs she had to face to get to that Olympic medal? What were her setbacks? And has she managed to stay consistent at being the badminton star after the win? We will find out the answers to these questions shortly here.
Early life of PV Sindhu
V. Sindhu was born on the 5th of July 1995. This 24-year-old Olympic medallist was bornn in Hyderabad to P. V. Ramana and P. Vijaya. It can very well be said that talent for sports runs in her family because both her mother and father have been volleyball players who have competed in national levels. Her father especially has a lot of feathers to his cap, having won the bronze medal in the Seoul Asian Games in the year 1986 as a part of the Indian volleyball team. He also received the prestigious Arjuna Award in the year 2000 owing to his contributions to the field of sports. These sports-related accolades aren’t just limited to Sindhu’s parents but also her elder sister, P. V. Divya, who was a national-level handball player. Although Divya, unlike her younger sister Sindhu chose her career in academia and went on to become a doctor.
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PV Sindhu: One would think since both her parents played professional volleyball, Sindhu’s interest at a young age would also peak towards the same game, but this wasn’t the case with her. The reason to Sindhu finally figuring out what she was actually passionate about was this inspiration named Pulella Gopichand, who happens to be the All England Open Badminton Champion of the year 2001.
Her eventual journey towards being the badminton star that she is now started when she was just eight years old. She stepped into the game and had Mehboob Ali, of Indian Railway Institute of Signal Engineering and Telecommunication guide her with the basics back in Secunderabad. Soon on after, she went on to join the Badminton Academy of the very person whose influence had helped her realise her love for this game and who had deeply inspired her, Pullela Gopichand’s Gopichand Badminton Academy.
A correspondent of ‘The Hindu’ who was following Sindhu’s career at the time wrote : “The fact that she reports on time at the coaching camps daily, travelling a distance of 56 km from her residence, is perhaps a reflection of her willingness to complete her desire to be a good badminton player with the required hard work and commitment.” This only goes on to show that Sindhu was always the ‘I’m in it for the long haul and the long play’ kind of gal. She didn’t come short in either her hard work or her discipline, or even at the resilience required to get there. As they say, talent can only take you so far without commitment. This fact was also backed by Gopichand, who in one of his comments has said, “The most striking feature in Sindhu’s game is her attitude and the never-say-die spirit.”
PV Sindhu: After joining the academy at that young age and being surrounded with people who gave her proper guidance in every step of the way so that she could reach being the best at what she loves, Sindhu truly flourished as a result. She had already bagged several wins and just under the 10-year-old doubles category, Sindhu had won the 5th Servo All India ranking championship along with winning the singles title at the Ambuja Cement All India ranking.
Her growth only went up from there as Sindhu won the singles title at the Sub-juniors’ category in Pondicherry and the doubles title at the Krishna Khaitan All India Tournament in the ‘under 13’ category. These wins were followed by IOC All India Ranking, the Sub-Junior Nationals and the All India Ranking in Pune. She won the gold medal in the ‘under 14’ team at the 51st National State Games of India as well.
Afterwards to nobody’s surprise, Sindhu finally entered the International circuit by being a bronze medallist at the Asian Badminton Championships (sub-junior category) held in the year 2009 in Colombo. She also won the silver medal in the singles category at the Iran Fajr International Badminton Challenge in the year 2010. She not only made it to the quarterfinals of the Junior World Badminton Championships held in Mexico in the year 2010 but also made it as a team member of India’s national team at the Uber Cup in 2010.
On 14th of June 2012, though she lost at the Indonesia open with the scores of 21–14, 21-14 to Juliane Schenk, she won at the Asian Under-19 Youth Championship on the 7th of July 2012 and beat the Japanese Player Nozomi Okuhara in finals by 18–21, 21–17, 22–20. One of the most memorable moments of Sindhu’s career was the Li Ning China Masters Super Series tournament in 2012, when she surprised everybody including the Olympics gold medallist Li Xuerui of China herself as she went on to beat her with the scores of 21–19, 9–21, 21–16 and entered the semi-finals. Alhough she lost in the semi-finals, she quickly became a player who people would want to look out for. This China Opens endeavour brought to her high expectations. She entered the Japan Open thereafter, but lost to Bae Yeon Ju, the Korean Shuttler in the second round with the scores of 21–10, 12–21, 18–21.
Sindhu went on to make it to the finals at the 77th of Senior National Badminton Championships which was held at Srinagar, but sadly lost to Sayali Ghokale with the scores of 15–21, 21–15, 15–21. It later came into light that Sindhu was apparently suffering from an injured knee in the China Opens, regardless she went on to carry this injury and played at the Japan Opens and Nationals. At this point, it had become clear to Sindhu that she wouldn’t be able to go on to play and perform her best in any of the games if she didn’t sit back and give her injured knee the time it required to heal and avoid further strain. Making a wise decision, she skipped the World Junior Championships.
Sindhu had the best ranking of her career i.e., 15 in the Syed Modi International Grand Prix Gold event held in India, at Lucknow in the month of December 2012, where she came as a runner up. She didn’t lose a single set in the game except at the finals, where with the Indonesian player Linda Weni Fanetri, she obtained a score of 21–15, 18–21, 21–18.
Sindhu won her first ‘Grand Prix Gold’ title in the Malaysian open of 2013. She also became India’s first medallist in Women’s singles at the World Championships, by beating Wang Shixian for 21–18, 21–17. She was just an 18 year old then.
Award and Accolades
- V. Sindhu was awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award after she defeated Michelle Li of Canada and won the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold title on 1st of December, 2013 and essentially became a proud player of the country to be reckoned with. Sindhu anyhow did not slow down on creating more history as she became yet another first by being the first Indian to win two back-to-back medals in the BWF World Badminton Championships.
She was honoured with the Padma Shri Award in March 2015, which happens to be the fourth highest civilian award in India. She was also awarded the Rajeev Gandhi Khel Ratna on 29th August in the year 2019.
Sindhu became the captain of Chennai Smashers team in the Premier Badminton League in the year 2016. She managed to win all the five matches in the ‘group league’, to make it possible for her team to qualify for the semi-finals. It clearly worked out in their favour as the team managed to win the tournament against Mumbai Rockets. In the Chief Commissioner of Land Administration (CCLA)’s office, Sindhu also went in as the Deputy Collector of the Krishna District that came under the Revenue Department of the Government of Andhra Pradesh.
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The Life of PV Sindhu: It was in the 2016 Olympics that Sindhu rose to global fame. After she had settled for Silver with an amazing game, Sindhu in an interview acknowledged, “Life has changed a lot after the Olympics, but I’m still the same.” Despite making it to numerous finals with the wins being close enough for her to reach, yet slipping away every time, Sindhu was not overly disappointed about it. She said, “Coming to the finals is a very big thing rather than losing in the first round or second round. There are ups and downs in life so sometimes you might win sometime you might lose. The most important thing is you have to give your 100%. Winning and losing are secondary but you have to do your best. You have to come back much stronger learning from your mistakes.” She echoed the same sentiment right after winning the Olympics as well, “It’s not about winning or losing, you have to just work hard and give your best. We have played our best matches at the Olympic Games. But I think ups and downs are part of life but you will have to come back and train harder to improve yourself and that’s what is really important.”
Needless to say, this is the attitude that sets her apart and gives her the strength to keep on moving, no matter what. Sindhu owes her success to both her parents and her coach by saying, “I am still the same because you have to be that way. I am here today because of my parents and Gopi sir.”
When asked about how she deals with losses in an interview of ‘The Hindu’, she said, “I must acknowledge the support I get from my parents (P.V. Ramana and P. Vijaya, both former volleyball international players). They have gone through this sort of grind during their playing days. They faced many ups and downs. Drawing from their experiences, they are always a huge source of moral support to me when the going gets tough. Honestly, they know more about me than I do. Importantly, they understand the essence of winning and losing. I am lucky to have such parents, and it is a huge plus for me that they always keep telling me one thing — treat both success and failure on par. You put in the best of efforts, you may not necessarily be a winner all the time. But I should have the satisfaction of giving my best.”
Sindhu fondly looked back to her preparations for the 2016 Olympics saying that she was very disappointed after losing at pre-quarters in the Australian Open. Gopi sir though told her that it was okay to just have fun and come back, because that’s when the real work begins, to prep for the Olympics. After she got back, he made both of them write their mistakes as to what they were doing wrong and then show them to each other. They assessed and shared notes about what could be done differently to improve her game and her routine so that there’s no stone left unturned.
Net Worth of PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu: These many wins and achievements did not go unnoticed, as Sindhu made it to the Forbes list of “Highest-Paid Female Athletes 2018”, ranking seventh with earnings of 8.5 million dollars from prize money and endorsements between the years 2017 and 2018. P. V. Sindhu rightly has an estimated net worth of ten million dollars as of now.
Sindhu- An inspiration for our generation
PV Sindhu: A lot of factors came in together to make Sindhu the player she is now. These include her hard work, work ethic, mental strength, ability to come through under pressure and ever supporting mentors guiding her, constantly doing everything they can and providing her with everything possible so that she can reach her best version, thus play her best.
P V Sindhu’s story and the journey is nothing less than inspiring to every kid out there with proper dedication, resilience and discipline, proving that even they are capable of winning the Olympics by putting in honest and sincere effort. She gives us hope, all the while making our country proud.
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