Ace shuttler PV Sindhu on Sunday (August 1) created history today by becoming the first Indian woman to win back-to-back medals in two Olympics. Sindhu wins the bronze medal at Tokyo Olympics, beating China's He Bing Jao 21-13 21-15 in the third-place playoff. With this feat, Sindhu becomes the first Indian woman and second Indian sportsperson to win two medals at Olympics. This feat has been achieved by wrestler Sushil Kumar.
Also, with Sindhu's bronze, India has now equalled its tally of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Here we take a look at PV Sindhu’s journey to glory and her career highlights and awards.
PV Sindhu was born on 5th July 1995 in Hyderabad to a Telugu family. Her parents, P.V. Ramana and P. Vijaya are Volleyball players and her elder sister is a national level handball player.
Coming from a sports background, at the age of six, P.V. Sindhu was inspired to take up sports as her career but she chose Badminton as her main game as she was inspired by Pullela Gopichand who had just won the 2001 All England Open Badminton Championship.
She first went to the coach Mehbub Ali but after learning the basics, she joined the Gopichand academy to train solely in badminton. Interestingly, Sindhu used to travel 56 kilometers daily from her residence to the coaching camp. Her determination and willingness were a reflection of a great future standing in front of her.
Sindhu started to play badminton from the age of 8 and turned pro in 2009. Her first international recognition came when she was ranked in the top 20 in the BWF World Ranking in September 2012. She was just 17 at that time. Owing to her hard work and zeal, Sindhu became the first Indian woman in singles to win a medal at the BWF World Championship in the year 2013.
Interestingly, Sindhu holds a unique record at the World Championships as she has clinched five medals in a total of six appearances only at the championship. Sindhu has the following medals: Gold (2019), Silver (2017 and 2018) and Bronze (2013 and 2014) respectively. To date, she is the fastest player to achieve five medals at the World Badminton Championship.
Sindhu has won 10 titles across Super Series Premier, Super Series, Grand Prix Gold and International Challenge. Her best performances have come at the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold, where she has won three titles.
Noticeably, Sindhu is the only Indian singles player to hold an Olympic silver, the feat she achieved at the Rio Olympics in 2016. She also clinched BWF World Tour Finals in 2018.
- In 2012, Sindhu made it to the top 20 of Badminton World Federation Ranking.
- In 2013, the shuttler bagged her first Grand Prix win by defeating Singapore’s Gu Juan.
- In 2014, Sindhu became 1st Indian to win back-to-back medals in the BWF World Badminton Championships.
- In 2016, she created history by winning silver at Rio Olympics as she became the first Indian singles player to achieve the feat.
- In 2017, Sindhu became the 1st shuttler in the world to reach the finals of 3 successive major events – won the Indian Open series, bagged silver at the BWF World Championships, reached the final of the 2018 World Championships.
- In 2018, Sindhu became 1st Indian shuttler to reach the final of the badminton singles competition at the 18th Asian Games.
- In 2019, Sindhu became the first Indian player to win gold at the BWF World Championships.
- In 2021, PV Sindhu bags bronze in Tokyo Olympics to become the only Indian woman to win 2 individual Olympics medals. Overall, she becomes the fourth woman to win 2 medals in badminton singles.
Sindhu was bestowed with Arjuna Award on 24 September 2013. In 2015, she was honoured with the Padma Shri award, while in 2016, the shuttler received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. In January 2020, Sindhu was honoured with Padma Bhushan Award, the third-highest civilian award in India.