PV Sindhu shrugged off debilitating memories of previous finals on way to beating Nozomi Okuhara. “Sometimes I was thinking of the last final; but I said that’s not the time I should be thinking about,” she conceded, talking to the BWF, adding that she was thrilled at finally winning a major title. “I got really emotional since it was my first gold,” she recalled the moments right after the win. “Normally we think how do I shout or what should I do to celebrate, but I had nothing in my mind. I didn’t even shake hands with Nozomi and then umpire said ‘Sindhu it’s time you shook hands with her.’ But she had come over to my side to give me a hand. That moment I just had tears in my eyes, I wanted this win very much and I got it,” she would explain the churn of her emotions.
“I am the winner. No one can say I don’t win in finals, I have won the gold and this win is really special to me.”
— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) December 16, 2018
Sindhu refused to part with the strategy for the day. “There’s no particular strategy because whenever I play against Nozomi or Yamaguchi, I’m prepared for long matches. I just kept the shuttle in court,” she said.
The Indian added that patience was her biggest ally. “She was playing good strokes even when I was leading. If I had lost my patience or got nervous, she’d have taken the game. It wasn’t easy,” she said, adding that in Olympic qualification year of 2019, she was looking to stay fit and strategise on which tournaments to play. The result gives her a bit of cushioning, but a massive drop in ranking points can happen when she defends these points end of next year.
Coach Gopichand lauded his ward for not just winning the final but beating quality players. “Beating them all in one week is special. She finishes the year on a high, she’s had medals at the big events which was the target this year: Worlds, Asiad, Cwg and Tour finals,” he said.
The coach hadn’t been unduly bothered by her string of final losses, saying it was important only for her own confidence, and not to prove to the world. “There’s been a lot of talk about her not winning the finals. So it was important, not for anybody else, but for Sindhu’s mind – that she locked in the final with confidence,” he said. Speaking on the future, he added, “2020 will be the big one and 2022 Asian Games and CWG are important for us. Having said that, the All England will be our target the next year,” he declared.