PV Sindhu: India’s Current Face of Badminton

Early Life

Pusarla Venkata Sindhu (PV Sindhu) was born on the 5th of July, 1995 in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. Coincidentally, both her parents were professional volleyball players who have played at the national level. In 2001, Indian male badminton player Pullela Gopichand won the All-England Open Badminton Championship. This piqued the interest of a young Sindhu, who became interested in the discipline of badminton. She started playing badminton when she was 8 years old. She initially trained at the Indian Railway Institute of Signal Engineering and Telecommunication, and later joined Pullela Gopichand’s Gopichand Badminton Academy.

Career

Sindhu starting playing badminton competitively at a tender age. She was successful right from a young age. When competing in the under-10 years category, she won the 5th Servo All India ranking championship in both the singles as well as doubles categories. While competing in the under-13 years category, she won the singles and doubles title at multiple Indian badminton competitions. In the under-14 years category, in the 51st National Games, Sindhu won a team gold medal.

Sindhu started playing internationally at the age of 14. She won the bronze medal at the 2009 Sub-Junior Asian Badminton Championships. In July 2012, she won the Asian Junior Championships. She won her first Grand Prix Gold title in 2103 by winning the Malaysia Masters. In the same year, the became the second Indian to win a medal in the singles category at the Badminton World Championships. She also won the Macau Open Grand Prix Gold. In 2014, she won the bronze medal at the Asian Championships and the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games. She won another bronze medal in the 2014 BWF World Badminton Championships. In 2016, she won the silver medal in the Rio Olympics and created history as the youngest and first female Indian athlete to win a silver Olympic medal. She won the silver medal in the 2017 World Championships. In 2018, she became the only Indian to win the BWF World Tour Finals and won India her first silver singles medal at the 2108 Asian Games. In 2019, she became the first Indian to win a gold medal at the World Championships. In the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she won the bronze medal.  

PV Sindhu winning the silver medal at the Rio Olympics
PV Sindhu winning the silver medal at the Rio Olympics
 PV Sindhu winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics
PV Sindhu winning the bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics

Achievements

Sindhu is the current World No. 7, having reached the rank of World No. 2 in 2017. She is the first Indian to win and become the World Badminton Championship, as well as the first Indian woman to reach an Olympic Final with her competition in the finals at the 2016 Rio Olympics. With her podium finish in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, she now also holds the record of being the first Indian woman to win two medals at the Olympics. She is the second Indian athlete individually to win two consecutive Olympic medals. She is the second woman worldwide to win either five or more medals at the Badminton World Championships. In 2013, she was awarded the Arjuna Award. In 2015, Sindhu was awarded the Padma Shri, India’s fourth highest civilian award. 2016, she received the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna (formerly known as the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna), India’s highest sporting honour. In 2020, she was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award. In 2018 and 2019, Sindhu was a part of Forbes’ list of the Highest-Paid Female Athletes. On the 8th of March 2020, she was declared as the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year.

Sindhu being awarded the  Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna
Sindhu being awarded the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna