This article was originally published in NDTV.com
India's badminton mainstay PV Sindhu goes into the Tokyo Olympics as a world champion in women's singles. That alone puts expectations on her to win a medal at the Games. With 50 days left for the curtain to go up in Tokyo, the Rio silver medallist told NDTV in an exclusive interview, "It is going to be different from Rio. In the first Olympics, everything was new to me. Now, there are responsibilities and expectations, the expectations will be around getting a better medal."
Sindhu has put her body, mind, and soul into changing the colour of the medal in these five years. What does an extra year mean to her?
"For me, one extra year has been good to get fitter. I am completely fit and keeping myself in good form," she says.
A fit Sindhu is any opponent's nightmare. But who does she see as her toughest opponent at the Games?
"Tai Tzu will be tricky," says the Hyderabadi star. "Ratchanok Intanon and Nazomi Okuhara are very skilful players as well. Anyone in the top 10 could be a threat. I have to be at my best on all days."
Carolina Marin's withdrawal from Tokyo makes Sindhu an overwhelming favourite, but she is aware that there is no place for complacency and "being over-confident".
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One thing she is confident of is to entertain her fans. "My fans can watch out for my attack and being more aggressive," she stresses.
Sindhu describes herself as one with variations in her strokes, matured in skillset since the last Games, and assures that she's on the top of her game going into the Tokyo Olympics.