In a country starved of Olympic champions, P. V. Sindhu’s dream campaign in Rio provided a whiff of fresh air. Came as it did, after trailblazer Saina Nehwal paid heavily for carrying a knee injury to the Games, Sindhu made the nation sit up and take note of her extraordinary prowess.

In the space of 18 hours, after Sakshi Malik ended India’s medal drought with a bronze in women’s wrestling, Sindhu made history by reaching the singles final. Up against two-time World champion and favourite Carolina Marin in the battle for the gold medal, Sindhu once again showed her never-say-die attitude by bouncing back from 16-19 to snatch the first game, but thereafter, it was the Spaniard who gave very little away.

BESIDES THE RESULT, what stood out during that week was the manner in which Sindhu played. Moving steadily towards becoming a more all-round player, Sindhu gave ample evidence of…

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