Tired of hearing about the same badminton players for the last three years? Perhaps it’s time to take notice of a young girl who made waves through 2011 and appears poised to take 2012 by storm.
PV Sindhu is another name in the long list of shuttlers from Hyderabad, the city that boasts of household names like Saina Nehwal and P Gopi Chand, who is also Sindhu’s coach. The daughter of two national-level volleyball players (PV Ramana and P Vijaya), the 16-year-old inherited an excellent sporting temperament and enviable height. At 5’ 10”, she towers over most peers at Hyderabad’s Gopi Chand Academy.The lanky girl had a dream run last year which saw her ranking improve at breakneck speed. In February, she was hovering around the 200-mark and as December drew to a close, Sindhu’s name occupied the No 31 spot in Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings.
Sindhu is the national junior champion and has leapfrogged seasoned seniors in domestic as well as entry-level international tournaments. Her recent victory at the Tata Open International challenge last month is testimony to her potential.
Why should you follow Sindhu this coming year? There are many factors which determine ranking, but if all goes according to plan and Sindhu keeps surprising the experts, then a plane ticket to London for the Olympics will be a definite.
“That is a very distant possibility. But I would definitely like to be a part of it,” Sindhu said before flying off to South Korea to participate in the first Super Series event of the year. “It’s tough at the top and I would have to do well if I want my ranking to improve.”
The rules of qualification for the Olympics allow two players from a country to play only if they are both in the top-16 as of April 31, 2012. She still has a long way to go but the way she is smashing her way to titles, it will be interesting to see how she picks her tournaments to get there.