28 February, 2021

Chinese Checker

How Sindhu regained her balance, and in winning the China Open, breached a great wall of excellence

Photograph by AP
Chinese Checker

In sports, balance is key to everything a sportsperson does. And India’s ‘golden’ girl, P.V. Sindhu, has just str­uck the right balance after a slight drop in focus. She reached a giddy high when she muscled her way through the elite line-up at the Rio Olympics, storming into the final, fighting to the last and winning silver. Then, predictably, a series of felicitations followed, as Sindhu zipped across the country accepting gifts in cash and kind  from politicians and industrialists bent on ben­evolence and from grateful fans. In the process, Sindhu’s training sch­edule slowed down longer than she would have wished for. Possibly, her fitness also was a bit compromised. She skipped a couple of tournaments after the Olympics and lost in the second rounds of the Denmark Open and French Open in Octo­ber.

Soon, tongues started wagging, doubts were raised, questions asked, even though they were largely in whispers: Has Sindhu lost her focus? Is she distracted? When will she be able to regain that stellar concentration she showed in...

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