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Sindhu exudes confidence

With the hopes of an entire nation resting on her shoulders, young P.V. Sindhu has shrugged off the pressure and said she was confident of winning the women’s singles gold in the badminton event of the 20th Commonwealth Games.

Speaking to the media after a gruelling training session with her teammates, the Hyderabad-born girl, however, admitted that her dreams would fall apart if she put a step wrong.

“It is my first time as No. 1 seed in such a big event. Also, it is my first Commonwealth Games and first time in Scotland. I am very excited, but do understand the responsibility of carrying the hopes of an entire nation and also realise that I cannot afford the luxury of doing anything wrong at any time during this tournament.”

Sindhu was given the top billing after Saina Nehwal, who won the gold in New Delhi four years ago, pulled out of the Games citing injury.

The 19-year-old named Kristy Gilmour (Scotland) and Michelle Li (Canada) as her likely challengers in the singles. “Kristy is a good player and then there is Michelle. But, there are other players, too, who can put up a meaningful challenge.

“The simple recipe is to play your game right from the first point and finish it off,” Sindhu said.

P. Kashyap, seeded No. 2 here, also expressed confidence of doing well. “I am seeded second and I have one player above me in the rankings and that is how I am looking at it.

“I think that I have the game to progress all the way, but this is a tough tournament. However, I expect to be in the final and win this time.”

Commenting on his dislocated shoulder, the Indian said, “It is okay now. I have been strapping it regularly and with that and the taping, it seems alright.

“I guess that I will have to have an operation but there is no reason to do it now. Otherwise, I would be forced to rest for a while and miss these big events,” he added.

India will begin its campaign on Thursday, figuring in the group matches of the mixed team event. It will take on Ghana and Uganda in the Pool B preliminaries in the four-team group which also includes Kenya.

India is seed third in the event behind holder Malaysia and England.

Besides Sindhu and Kashyap, the Indian team comprises the women’s doubles pair of G. Jwala and Ashwini Ponnappa, P.C. Thulasi, K. Srikanth, R.M.V. Gurusaidutt, Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Chopra.

At New Delhi four years ago, the badminton players had provided India with a tally of two golds (won by Saina and the pair of Jwala and Ashwini), and a silver and a bronze.

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Printable version | Aug 8, 2020 11:41:04 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/cwg-2014-pv-sindhu-exudes-confidence/article6242575.ece

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