[dropcap]C[/dropcap]ongratulations! P V Sindhu. Once again, a Hyderabadi girl make us proud. With a huge contingent of home fans roaring “Go India, go!”, the 21-year-old Hyderabadi gradually wore down sixth-ranked Okuhara before charging to an emphatic 21-19 21-10 victory at the Riocentro. Pusarla Venkata Sindhu became the first Indian woman to enter an Olympic badminton final, assured India of another medal. She won silver medal, which is satisfactory for us. She has come a long way — from a 16-year-old watching Saina Nehwal win the 2012 London Olympics bronze to being India’s lone badminton medal hope in the 2016 Games. This is the first time, an Indian woman has entered the final of an Olympics badminton event. On 10 August 2013, Sindhu became the first ever Indian women’s singles player to win a medal at the World Championships. On 30 March 2015, she received India’s fourth highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri. On 18 August 2016, she became the first Indian woman to reach Olympic finals after beating Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in the semi-finals of Rio Olympics 2016. She broke into the Top 20 in the Badminton World Federation rankings released on 21 September 2012.
Sindhu’s father Ramana is himself an Arjuna Awardee. Ramana represented India in volleyball. On 18 August 2016, Sindhu beat Japanese badminton player Nozomi Okuhara in Rio to enter into the finals of Badminton singles and assuring India of a medal in badminton. PV Sindhu sent Indian fans into frenzy. A nation that has never punched its weight at the Olympics, India has had a paltry return at Rio, with only a solitary bronze won by freestyle wrestler Sakshi Malik. PV Sindhu must deal with the expectations of a billion people when she heads into a tough decider against the twice world champion Marin. Marin will also have been impressed by the ninth-ranked Indian, who has carried Team India’s hopes since their top singles player Nehwal bowed out of Rio with an injury-hampered loss.
Meanwhile Hyderabad gave us top three badminton players for India, who not only made us proud but gave India a new fame and name on the globe. Saina Nehwal is a professional badminton singles player from India. Active since 2004 at the international circuit, Nehwal, the former world no. 1, has maintained her world ranking in the top ten since 2009. She has won over twenty international titles, which include ten Super series titles. Although, she reached to the world no. 2 ranking in 2009, it was only in 2015 that she was able to attain the world no. 1 ranking. And thereby becoming the only female player from India and overall the second Indian player – after Prakash Padukone – to achieve this feat. She has represented India three times in the Olympics, winning bronze medal in her second appearance.
Nehwal has achieved many milestones in badminton for India. She is the only Indian to have won at least a medal in every BWF major individual event, namely Olympics, BWF World Championships, and the BWF World Junior Championships. She is the first Indian badminton player to have won an Olympic medal, along with being the only Indian to have won the BWF World Junior Championships or to have reached to the final of the BWF World Championships. In 2006, Nehwal became the first Indian female and the youngest Asian to win a 4-star tournament. She also has the distinction of being the first Indian to win a Super Series title. At the 2014 Uber Cup, she captained the Indian team and remained unbeaten, helping India to win bronze medal. It was India’s first medal in any BWF major team event.
Considered as one of the most successful Indian female sportsperson, she is credited for increasing the popularity of badminton in India. In 2016, the Government of India (GoI) conferred the Padma Bhushan – India’s third highest civilian award – on her. Previously, the nation’s top two sporting honours, namely Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Arjuna Award, were also conferred on her by the government.
Sania Mirza another Hyderabadi girl, a tennis player, is currently ranked No. 1 in the women’s doubles rankings. From 2003 until her retirement from singles in 2013, she was ranked by the Women’s Tennis Association as India’s No. 1 player, both in singles and doubles. Throughout her career, Mirza has established herself as the most successful female Indian tennis player ever and one of the highest-paid and high-profile athletes in the country. In her singles career, Mirza has notable wins over Svetlana Kuznetsova, Vera Zvonareva and Marion Bartoli; as well as former world No. 1 Martina Hingis, Dinara Safina, and Victoria Azarenka. She is the highest-ranked female player ever from India, peaking at world No. 27 in singles in mid-2007; however, a major wrist injury forced her to give up her singles career and focus on the doubles circuit, where she is currently ranked No. 1. She has achieved a number of firsts for women’s tennis in her native country, including surpassing US$1 million in career earnings (now over $6 million), winning a singles Pro-level title, and winning six major titles (three each in women’s doubles and in mixed doubles), as well as qualifying for (and eventually winning) the WTA Finals in 2014 alongside Cara Black, defending the title the following year partnering with Martina Hingis. In addition, she is the third Indian woman in the Open Era to feature and win a round at a Grand Slam tournament (going as far as the last 16). She has also won a total of 14 medals (including 6 Gold) at three major multi-sport events, namely the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Afro-Asian Games. Mirza was named one of the “50 Heroes of Asia” by Time in October 2005. In March 2010, The Economic Times named Mirza in the list of the “33 women who made India proud”. She was named in Time magazine’s 2016 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
All these Hyderabadi sports girls make me proud. This time the entire nation is celebrating along with PV Sindhu. Let’s give our Best of Luck’ to other Indian participants. Hope with Cross fingers!
(Any suggestions, comments or dispute with regards to this article send us on email@example.com)