Sindhu's Olympic analysis – by Arvind Bhat (former India No.1 and German Open winner)

Sindhu's Olympic analysis – by Arvind Bhat (former India No.1 and German Open winner)

It was a brilliant performance by India’s darling PV Sindhu to win a medal for the country. For the last year or so Sindhu was under pressure to perform due to the controversial events around her coaching and practice sessions. She has proved herself right and can have a sound sleep, now.

Technically, I don’t want to analyze much. It's all about the mind here. The Olympics is a different beast.

Generally, in big events like the Olympics, all players come well-prepared and have worked very hard. Their team leaves no stones unturned to achieve the best possible result. None of the top players have reached there by luck or fluke.

When players come to the event, their preparation will be extraordinary. Now, what sets the champions and medal winners apart is the Will To Win. Some things have to motivate them to win the match, to win the game, to win the point. It boils down to that.

Something extra and more than the opponent has to be done on court on that particular day. Like that, they have to churn out 5 or 6 good matches in the event. Sindhu did just that. Especially when she faced Yamaguchi in quartersfinals and He Bin Jiao in Bronze medal playoffs.

Against these 2, she got her spirits up, got more aggressive, kept her cool at the right stages, and created magic. Both the matches were 2-game affair, and it was due to some clever game that she could wrap up early without extending to 3. At the right moments, she infused speed in her game by digging deep into her energy reserves.

Against Yamaguchi, she did it from 18-20 in the second game and vs HBJ around the mid of the second game.

The shuttles in Tokyo were slow, and this meant longer and patient rallies. Sindhu likes shuttles to be a bit fast, and her game is suited for that. Hence, overall it was a bit disadvantageous to Sindhu in Tokyo. I felt that in long rallies Sindhu was finding it hard to recover fast in and after points against Tai Tzu Ying in the semifinals.

But, all this changed when she showed the grit to win, especially against HBJ. She started well, always kept her nose ahead, and finished it off. Will to win and being gritty is a hallmark of any champion and Sindhu showed this in the right moments in the bronze medal match, which is why she is called a big match player. She showed a very aggressive attitude in this match which I felt was missing against TTY. Of course, there is a big difference in the stroke-making ability if you compare  TTY and HBJ. TTY strokes are much crisper, sharper, and tricky and hence reaction time is lesser. This is one reason why Sindhu could not be as attacking as she was vs HBJ.

But, what matters is that she got a medal for India.

Her win has made the country proud and the whole badminton fraternity happy. This will help the sport grow immensely in India. Winning 2 Olympics medals in a physical sport like badminton is very difficult, and she has achieved a rare double.

With this experience, I wish that she can now get all the medal colors available by winning gold at Paris 2024.

Hard work and sacrifices are done for almost 2 decades by Sindhu, her family and many people around her. This has reaped results. It's time to show gratitude towards everyone who has helped her to reach here.

That's what a Champion does.

Congratulations, Sindhu, Congratulations, Badminton India!