An entire country had prayed for Sindhu's victory. The nation was rooting for the Hyderabad girl to convert the bronze she won in 2013 to gold. And it took all of 36 minutes for Sindhu to get to the crowning glory.
P V Sindhu scripted history as she won the World Championships gold by beating Nozomi Okuhara of Japan in Switzerland’s Basel on Sunday. With her stupendous victory, Sindhu has sealed her position as one of the biggest sporting icons in the country.
“You have only seen the victories and defeats of Sindhu... You don't know the Sindhu who heads to the court by 4am every day. Nor do you know the Sindhu who got rid of her phone for six months prior to the Rio Olympics. Here's a young star who does not use WhatsApp and does not even own a smartphone, all that she thinks of is practice, practice, practise..." This is how anchor Boria Majumdar introduced Sindhu to the audience during a conclave. But even before he finished, Sindhu quickly intervened and corrected him, "Not six sir, but for nine months I did not use the phone."
Those marathon practising sessions began to pay off as Sindhu made her way to the top.
Along with accolades for her performance in court, endorsements too have come Sindhu’s way. She was ranked seventh on the Forbes' list of highest-paid woman athletes in 2018. She earned Rs 20 crore in gifts after she won the silver medal at the Rio Olympics.
Sindhu also signed a Rs 50-crore deal with the sports manufacturer company, Li Ning.
Some point out that the popularity that badminton enjoys in India is one reason that helps Sindhu get these many endorsements. However, marketing pundits reject such arguments. Even when she is becoming one of the biggest icons of Indian sports, Sindhu is very much close to the masses. So, the love people have for Sindhu also passes on to the brands she endorses. Both parents and children regard Sindhu as a role model.
One big family of badminton
Sindhu’s parents have also been part of her journey.
"In the world of badminton, nobody harbours enmity towards anyone. I have seen them as a bunch of players who stay and travel together often in the world circuit. It is a big family that sticks together. Only when they get into the court that they turn to professionals," Sindhu's father P V Ramana had said when he visited Kochi last year.
Sindhu on silver screen
Preparations have begun to make a movie on Sindhu's life. Popular actor and producer Sonu Sood is behind the sports biopic. The name of the movie that was announced in 2017 is 'Sindhu' itself. The role of her coach Pullela Gopichand would be reportedly played by Sonu. However, no announcement has been made regarding who would be playing the titular role. The movie is expected to hit the screens next year.