Tokyo Olympics: PV Sindhu becomes the second Indian badminton player to enter quarterfinals twice
PV Sindhu became the second badminton player after Saina Nehwal to qualify for the quarters twice at the Olympics.
It was a regular Thursday morning when PV Sindhu scripted history at the Tokyo Olympics by entering into the quarters and becoming only the second Indian shuttler to achieve this feat twice. Any guesses who was the first Indian? It was none other than our beloved champion Saina Nehwal who ignited this fire of India's first-ever medal in badminton at the Olympics.
Saina Nehwal - Road to Glory from 2008 to 2012
The former World No. 1, Saina Nehwal, has been a prodigy from the time she started playing badminton. Achieving the BWF World Junior Championship title early in her career, she became the first Indian to reach the top 8 finish in badminton at the Olympics by defeating the then world number five Wang Chen of Hong Kong. She eventually lost out to Indonesian shuttler Kristin Yulianti, but the unbeatable spirit of the 18-year old Saina was growing to show on the world stage.
Under the guidance of Pullela Gopichand, she scripted history by not only becoming the first Indian to enter the quarters twice and semis for the first time but also to win the first-ever medal for Indian Badminton Contingent at the Olympics. She got the better of the Netherlands' Jie Yao and Denmark's Tine Baun to reach the semi-finals before losing out to Wang Yihan of China. She left a deep impact in the arena of badminton for India with her indomitable spirit.
PV Sindhu - Following the footsteps and scripting history
The current World No. 7 began to show her dominating style of play first in 2014, reaching the All Indian Open against Saina Nehwal. The Indian hope for a medal at the Tokyo Olympics first participated at the Rio Olympics where her unstoppable nature outperformed world-class shuttlers, including Tai Tzu Ying (expected to face Sindhu in semis in Tokyo) and Wang Yihan (the one to whom Saina lost in 2012). The ace shuttler also defeated Nozomi Okuhara before she suffered a loss at the hands of Carolina Marin (after winning her first set).
By then, she had already been listed as the top player from India as the young Sindhu won hearts and bagged the silver medal position. Her performance was seen with the same confidence as of Saina in 2012 and 2008 but with better results. Now, at Tokyo Olympics, she has already stormed her way to the quarters, making her the second shuttler after Saina from India to reach this position.
Every Indian fan has loved her flawless run and the challenge to become the first Indian to reach two semis at the Olympics stands in front of her. Both female stars have brought Olympics glory to the country and will always remain as the brightest players in history. As for PV Sindhu, another milestone is awaited.