During a tense moment in the second set when P V Sindhu lost a couple of points, her mother P Vijaya turned away from the giant TV screen at the Gopichand Badminton Academy at Gachibowli. “The tension is unbearable,” she muttered. The next moment, however, she was ecstatic has her daughter increased the lead again.
“Kal subah pray karenga, sham ko match dekhenge, gold jitenge,” she said ecstatically after P V Sindhu stormed into the finals at Rio.
Since Thursday afternoon, parents of Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, P V Ramana and P Vijaya were camping at the academy along with dozens of eager, starry-eyed youngsters who train at the academy. As the match started everyone found a spot in front of the TV. Some awestruck youngsters who look up to Sindhu during the training sessions she underwent here for nearly eight months, took out banners of ‘Go Sindhu, Go Gold’ and hung them around. Friends and well-wishers of Sindhu and her coach Pullela Gopichand started dropping in and soon the small hall was full.
“Instead of watching alone at our respective homes we decided to set up a screen here and watch the match together,” Sai Vishnu, Gopichand’s son said.
“After she won the first set I was confident she will storm into the final. This is where our daughter trained, so this is where we watched her play today in Rio,’’ P V Ramana said immediately after the match. “Gopi had told Sindhu to shout loudly every time she won a point and she followed that too. She played excellently, smashed excellently and took control of the game completely. There were some tense moments when they were going neck and neck but Sindhu pulled ahead brilliantly, completely subjugating the opponent,’’ an ecstatic Ramana said.
As Sindhu stormed into the finals, loud cheers resounded. Sindhu’s mother Vijaya who was close to tears as Sindhu hit the final smash to win the game.
“She was training so we did not disturb her. We did not put any pressure on her by talking for long also. We just wished her well and told her to focus on the game,’’ Vijaya said, adding that Sindhu turned 21 on July 5. Relatives who live in Vijayawada also dropped by after Sindhu entered the semi-finals on Wednesday.
Behind Sindhu’s performance at the Rio, there is the hard work and sacrifice of her parents. P V Ramana, an Indian Railways employee and a former volley ball player used to drive Sindhu to the academy at 4 am from their home at Kokapet on Outer Ring Road.
While Ramana often took leave to be with his daughter to help her prepare for the Olympics, mom Vijaya took control of her strict diet regimen and crazy training schedules.