Name: PV Sindhu
Commonwealth Games appearance: 1 (CWG 2014, semifinals)
Biggest win: Silver medal at 2016 Rio Olympics
PV Sindhu was born on July 5, 1995, in Hyderabad in a family of sportstars. Her father, Arjuna Award winner, PV Ramana, was a former international volleyball player and was known for winning a bronze medal at 1986 Asian Games. Sindhu, who trained at Puella Gopichand’s Gopichand Badminton Academy, came to limelight early on in her career. At 14, she won a Bronze medal at Sub Junior Asian Badminton Championships in Colombo, in 2009. She later came as a runner-up at the 2010 Iran Fajr International Badminton Challenge and reached the quarterfinals of the 2010 Junior World Badminton Championships in Mexico.
At the age of 17, in 2012, she won the Asian Junior Championships a Gimcheon defeating Nozomi Okuhara in the final. By the end of the year, the badminton ace continued to win matches and climbed to her career best ranking of 15.
Her first Grand Prix Gold title came in 2013 when she defeated Singapore’s Gu Juan to clinch Malaysian Open Title. Her form continued at the World Championships 2013 in China where she went on to become the first medalist in women’s singles competition at the tournament for India, winning the bronze medal after defeating China’s Wang Shixian. She repeated the same feat next year, becoming the only player from India to win a medal at World Championships in two consecutive years. She also competed in her first Commonwealth Games the same year, where she reached the semifinal but lost to Michelle Li of Canada.
Sindhu reached final of a Super Series event in 2015 at the Denmark Open, defeating Tai Tzu Ying, Wang Yihan and Carolina Marin along the way but lost the final to Li Xuerui. The same year, Sindhu won Macau Open and Malaysia Masters. The biggest moment of Sindhu’s glorious career came in the year 2016 when she went on to become the first female athlete from India to win a silver medal at Rio Olympics. She became the fifth Indian woman to win an Olympic medal but Sindhu became the first to win a silver.
The next year, Sindhu carried on her form, despite injury woes, and went on to win India Open Superseries defeating her Rio Olympics finalist Carolina Marin. She further went on to win silver medal at BWF World Championships in the same year, losing the final against Nozomi Okuhara. She also won Korea Open Superseries in the same year and earned a silver in Dubai World Superseries.
Sindhu will enter the Commonwealth Games on the back of a well fought run at the All England Championships where she reached the semifinals before going down to Okuhara once again. She will be leading India’s women’s badminton contingent in the Commonwealth Games 2018 at Gold Coast along with Saina Nehwal, Ashwini Ponappa, Sikki Reddy and Ruthvika Shivani Gaade.