PV Sindhu shows true sportsmanship, consoles silver medallist Tai Tzu Ying
Well-knowing the pains of missing out on gold by a whisker, Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist PV Sindhu extended her kind support to Tai Tzu-ying.
As they say, a silver medal won is a gold medal lost while a bronze won, is both a silver as well as a gold lost and it is often a bittersweet feeling that tends to wash over athletes who give it their all but get differentiated by the hues with the barest minimum of margins. At the Tokyo Olympics, the Women's Singles took a similar turn as PV Sindhu, the silver medallist from Rio, bagged the bronze in Tokyo while Tai Tzu-ying, the World No. 1 had to settle for silver after Chen Yufei fractionally made it past Tai Tzu and got the gold.
After the match was over and the medals were awarded, Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu-ying was particularly sad as the 3-time Olympian knew how closely she had missed out on the gold. Noticing this, the silver medallist from Rio, PV Sindhu stepped into action and offered support and perfectly empathised with Tai Tzu's sentiments, as she too had been in the same boat in 2016 and knew exactly how crushing it felt to have been there so-near-yet-so-far.
Immediately reminiscent of the camaraderie between 2016 Rio Olympics gold medallist Carolina Marin of Spain and PV Sindhu after their gruelling encounter at the finals of the Rio Games where Sindhu ended up with the silverware, it was now the turn of Tai Tzu-ying to suffer the similar fate as Chen Yufei clinched gold in her maiden outing at the Olympics. At the podium, Tai Tzu could barely smile as the thought of missing out on the gold by a few points only haunted her - as it had haunted PV Sindhu, all those years back. Sindhu, too had started off her 2016 Gold Medal match with a bang - winning the first game, before Marin showed her prowess to stomp around and win the gold, 19-21 21-12 21-15.
Truth be told, in many ways, Tai Tzu-ying is similar to Lee Chong Wei, the Malaysian legend who won the silver thrice at the Olympic games and could never make it to gold. Tai Tzu, despite being one of the most exceptionally gifted players and having spent her time at the pole position for a record 148 weeks, also had no wins at the World Championships and the Olympics - until this silver medal win.
Coming into the Tokyo Olympics as the hot favourite for gold, Tai Tzu was on a mission to at least enter the quarters of the quadrennial Games - a feat she couldn't even achieve at the 2012 London Olympics (courtesy Li Xuerui) and the Rio Games (thanks to the same PV Sindhu). Tai could stick to her plans and even exacted revenge against PV Sindhu by dashing the gold medal dreams of the Indian ace by handing her a loss in straight games. Sailing into the finals, Tai let the pressure get to her, like she does in the big tournaments and Chen Yufei took maximum advantage of that slightest of slight insecurity from Tai Tzu's side and went on to essay a nail-biting victory, 18-21, 21-19, 18-21.