Skip to main content

Advertisement

Advertisement

Sport

India's badminton star Sindhu finds peace of mind amid expectations in Tokyo

India's badminton superstar PV Sindhu is carrying the hopes of her country's 1.3 billion people, but meditation is helping her stay calm in the eye of the storm.

India's badminton star Sindhu finds peace of mind amid expectations in Tokyo

India's PV Sindhu says that meditation is helping her cope with the pressure of chasing badminton gold at the Tokyo Games. (Photo: AFP/Pedro Pardo)

TOKYO: India's badminton superstar PV Sindhu is carrying the hopes of her country's 1.3 billion people, but meditation is helping her stay calm in the eye of the storm.

The 26-year-old world champion, who won silver at the 2016 Rio Games, would become only the second Indian ever to win an individual Olympic gold if she triumphs this week in Tokyo.

With Rio champion Carolina Marin of Spain absent with a serious knee injury, Sindhu has as good a chance as any in an open field.

She booked her place in the quarter-finals with a 21-15, 21-13 win over Denmark's Mia Blichfeldt on Thursday (Jul 29), then revealed her secret for shutting out external noise.

"I meditate at times, so I think that keeps my mind calm and keeps me going," she said.

"We see a lot of things happening on social media everywhere. Sometimes to let go of everything I just meditate for a bit."

READ: India's PV Sindhu dazzles, crushing Israel's dreams

Mental health has been in the spotlight at the Tokyo Games, with American gymnast Simone Biles pulling out of the team and all-around individual events to preserve her well-being.

Japanese tennis star Naomi Osaka has also struggled with her mental health, taking two months away from the sport before returning in Tokyo.

Sindhu said she was "nobody to comment" on what others are going through, but explained how she navigates the expectations of the world's second-most populous country.

"It's always there - the pressure, the responsibility," she said.

"I'm sure a lot of people are expecting a lot, but for me, when I go out onto the court I just have to give my best. I shouldn't think about what people are thinking - if I think about that, that would add extra pressure."

READ: Chanu's Tokyo silver earns her free movies, pizza for life

Sindhu needed just 41 minutes to dispatch number 13 seed Blichfeldt and book her place in the last eight.

"I'm not thinking about playing in the final," said Sindhu.

"The important thing is what is tomorrow. I'm just focusing on that. Yes, I got a medal at the last Olympics, but this is a fresh start."

In mixed doubles, China's Wang Yilu and Huang Dongping will play their compatriots Zheng Siwei and Huang Yaqiong in Friday's final.

Catch the Olympics Games Tokyo 2020 LIVE with 14 dedicated channels on meWATCH. Sign in now at mewatch.sg/tokyo2020 and get into the action with Mediacorp, Singapore’s Olympics Network.

Source: AFP/kg

Advertisement

Also worth reading

Advertisement