World No. 10 PV Sindhu expressed her happiness over participating in her first Olympics, as she became one of the seven badminton players to make the cut for Rio Olympics 2016.
Sindhu and fellow Hyderabadi Saina Nehwal, ranked two rungs above her, will be the two big hopes for the country in the August 5-21 sports spectacle in August.
With two back-to-back bronze medals in the World Championships adorning her list of achievements, the Rio-bound Sindhu said, "It's much more than the world championship. The ultimate goal for anyone is to get a medal in the Olympics, where the conditions and environment are totally different. I am very excited. It's my first Olympics,".
With the games approaching in a month's time, Sindhu felt that greater focus on fitness was needed. "We have been training hard. We need to push ourselves more. We are doing training off and on court, but the main thing is to keep ourselves fit and healthy. We need to be healthy as well as injury free," she said.
Talking about her most difficult opponents, the badminton ace stated that Thailand's former world champion Ratchanok Intanon and Chinese Taipei's Tai Tzu Ying are particularly difficult opponents for her. "As of now, Ratchanok is really challenging (sic) and is doing really well. I have recently played with her. And also Tai, she has also been playing well."
However, she added, "We can't say one person can win as every person - from 1-20 ranking - is capable of winning a medal. Whoever plays well on that day will be the winner. We can't take it easy against anyone."
Sindhu, who said she had been working on her on-court movement, pointed out that her extra height gave her some advantages but there were also some drawbacks. "I have been doing footwork programme and have been doing various sessions to move faster. My strong point always has been my attacking game, but nowadays nobody is giving that (leeway to) attack. Because I am tall (6-foot, 10-inches) everybody plays a fast game and downward strokes.
"I have been doing more of downward stroke (countering) because against players who are tall they (opponents) don't give chances to attack. They keep you more in defence. There are advantages as well as disadvantages with being tall. One thing (advantage) is the (better) reach, (but) they make you bend a lot more," she said.