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Forget Gold, It’s About Pride, PV! And It Matters

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Kolkata: Passion is wholehearted devotion; it is fervour and agony; it is temper and zeal
-Rebecca Ross (The Queen’s Rising)

A person’s mental agility and that enviable never-say-die spirit enable him to face adversities with elan. But that sound temperament can wane if the fight is for a lost cause.

Well, Indian shuttler PV Sindhu may not be taking the court today in Tokyo for a dead rubber as she will be carrying the hopes of her patriotic countrymen and women zeroed in on that coveted medal at the Olympics. But the flip side is that the fight between Sindhu and Chinese He Bing Jiao is for bronze and not gold and silver.

For the spectators, it may not sound like a high decibel contest neither will it be for Sindhu, a silver medallist at the Rio Olympics five years ago, but one can’t refute the fact that the medal matters.

So, the million-dollar question is whether Sindhu used to finish at the top, will be on top of her spirit against her Chinese rival. Saturday, July 31, saw Sindhu knocked out in the semis jolting the dreams of each and every Indian. To many, it is like all is over, what’s the point? “How does it matter whether she wins today or not, that GOLD still remains elusive,” could be the general feeling, yet the battle lines are drawn.

So, can Sindhu recharge her batteries after the debacle in the semis and have a go at it? Well, psychologically speaking, it is advisable that she keeps the past behind and takes the match as the Grand Finale. And the reason cannot be brushed under the carpet for sure.

For a country that grapples hard for Olympic glory, even a bronze will be a reason for commemoration. And the Hyderabadi shuttler would do well to adhere to this emotion that runs deep into our veins. We are yet to hit the double-figure mark in the medal tally in the history of the Olympics with the best being in London in 2012 when our athletes had 6 scalps (no gold though). Aren’t you shocked out of your wits? If so, then don’t be since despite running amok at various other global events, Olympics test our real skills and we, as usual, reel at the bottom.

So, it is a given that even a third position is like ending the game ahead of the rest for us. In view of our overall track record, Sindhu brings us a glimmer of hope and her victory would be the perfect reason for revelry come what may.

The shuttlecock is in Sindhu’s court and it is left to her to imbibe that belligerence to up the ante and end up on a winning note. “It’s going to be a bit sad. I need to go back and relax and prepare for tomorrow because it is not over yet. I still have a chance. I hope I can give my best. It just wasn’t my day (today), but I am going to try it again tomorrow,” said Sindhu after the loss yesterday.

Well, if you had started taking it easy by now, her statement should rejuvenate you. Sindhu seems in no mood to let it go and we can hope to see her in top gear against her opponent.

A country where emotions are paramount, Sindhu knows she can ill afford to fall short of the triumphant mark because a win will propel her status manifold – two Olympic medals in her kitty – and it’s a BIG deal. Forget about personal milestones, she will be the toast of a nation that has turned sporadic glory into a convention. Go, girl!

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