Shuttlers PV Sindhu and Srikanth Kidambi made India proud at the Rio Olympics. Sindhu became the first Indian woman to win a silver medal, while Srikanth reached the quarter-finals before losing to China's Lin Dan. Both the players showed credible amount of grit. And now we know what was the motivation behind their power-packed performances — the national anthem.
The duo's coach and Dronacharya Award winner, Pullela Gopichand, has been lauded with praise for guiding the shuttlers so well. However, it was Gopichand's mother who played an important role in keeping them motivated.
"People who watched Srikanth and Sindhu so motivated on the court kept on asking me about the secret behind their attitude. We did a couple of things to get motivated. My mother told me to make everyone sing the national anthem before the matches. We did that and it was quite motivating," Gopichand was quoted as saying by The Times of India.
The badminton aces sang the national anthem before every match to keep them charged and motivated to focus on the game. The strategy certainly took the two of them far at the Games.
Currently, Srikanth is the highest ranked Indian men's player in the international circuit with a world ranking of 11 as of Aug. 11. In Rio, Srikanth entered the round of 16 of the men's singles by beating Lino Munoz and Henri Hurskainen. He went on to beat world number five Jorgensen to reach the quarterfinals, but was defeated by Lin Dan by a score of 6-21, 21-11, and 18-21.