Sat, Dec 10, 2016 | updated 02:47 AM IST

Gopichand downplays PV Sindhu's final defeat, says proud of her Rio performance

Updated: Aug 20, 2016 03:38 IST
By Vivek Prabhakar Singh

Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Aug.20 (ANI): Downplaying ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu's final defeat at the hands of world number one Carolina Marin at the ongoing Rio Olympics, badminton chief coach coach Pullela Gopichand has said he is really proud of the way she played throughout the match and brought a historic silver medal for the country.

Despite losing an opportunity to win gold in Rio de Janerio, PV Sindhu on Friday scripted history by becoming the first shuttler to hand India an Olympic silver medal here on Friday.

"Sindhu has played really well over the last few days. Today's match, I think it is something to be really proud of. I think the way she has gone on court, the way she fought hard is something which is really remarkable. I think we have given it all we had. We worked really hard and she has given her best on court. She lost to a player who I thought played better today. We have a lesson to be learnt. Hopefully, she will come back stronger on some other day to beat her. But, I think overall the way she has played is something to be really proud of," Gopichand told ANI.

Describing Sindhu as a `great` athlete, the former badminton player said that he hoped the star shuttler would bring many more medals for the country in the coming future.

"She has repaid a lot to a lot of people and not just to the country I would say. She is very young, she is just 21-year-old. She has a huge potential and hopefully we will bring many more medals in future. But I think she is a great athlete and has worked really hard to reach so far," he added.

While talking about the reasons that led to Sindhu's defeat, Gopichand said, "I think it was the initial stage of second game where she lost the game little bit. Just didn't have the same kind of focus which was needed. That small slip made a difference and I think 11-10 in the second and couple of mistakes in the third game made a difference."

After producing a spirited fight-back to clinch the first game, the 21-year-old lanky shuttler from Hyderabad failed to capitalize on it and went on to suffer a 19-21, 21-12, 21-15 defeat against Spaniard opponent Marin in the nerve -wracking finals of the women's singles event that lasted one hour and 20 minutes.

Sindhu's silver medal comes after Sakshi Malik won the Bronze in 48-kg freestyle wrestling event.

Sindhu has now become the second Indian player in badminton to win an Olympic medal after Saina Nehwal, who had clinched bronze in London four years ago.

With the feat, Sindhu has also become the fifth Indian woman to clinch a medal in Olympics history after Karnam Malleswari, Mary Kom, Saina Nehwal and Sakshi Malik. (ANI)