Pusarla Venkata Sindhu was all smiles and struggling to express her feelings as she was seated adjacent to her coach and mentor Pullela Gopi Chand.

“Well, in a way, Sindhu by winning the Malaysian Open Grand Prix has forced a rethink in terms of my workload for the 2016 Olympics as now I have to train two prospective medallists,” he remarked at the Gopi Chand Academy here on Monday.

And, to the delight of everyone present around, Sindhu, now ranked World No. 13, declared that her first target by this year-end is to break into the top 10 and very soon get the World No. 1 ranking. Still unable to control the smile, the 17-year-old shuttler promised to live up to the expectations of her idol, Gopi, and everyone around.

“No doubt, Sindhu has still a long way to go. You are going to be marked once you start winning and I am sure this young champion will win many more titles in the days to come. But at the same time it also means you need to be in a different zone when it comes to preparation for the big events even while making necessary changes,” Gopi said. Sindhu said by not winning any title since the Asian under-19 championship last July did not mean that she was not playing well. “There are certain things which are beyond our control on a given day. But, I am trying to master some of the finer aspects to be a consistent winner of titles,” she said. “And there were many wins against big players and the most satisfying being the one when I defeated reigning Olympic gold medallist Li Xuerui.”

Daughter of former volleyball players -- Arjuna awardee P. V. Ramana and Vijaya --, Sindhu agreed that she had to improve her defence a lot even while she loves to attack the opponent. “I am confident of being a much better player in the days to come,” she said.

APBA vice-president V. Chamundeswaranath, who signed a sponsorship deal last year with Sindhu for five years, hoped that the latter would bring more laurels to the country.

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