PV Sindhu Rio Olympics silver medal
PV Sindhu after winning the silver medal for India, Aug.19, 2016Reuters

The smile was back at its glowing best, the feeling of exhilaration flowing through her veins – PV Sindhu might have felt disappointment after losing to the best player in the world in the gold medal match, but once that silver medal hung around her neck, everything was right in the world again.

To become India's first silver medallist in badminton is one thing, but to become the first Indian woman ever to win a medal better than a bronze is one that goes up a few levels. And understandably, Sindhu was proud of her achievement.

"I am on cloud nine," Sindhu told reporters after just falling short to Carolina Marin in the women's singles badminton final. "The aim was to get a medal after I reached the final and I hoped well enough to win the gold.

"But never mind, I have got the silver. We both played well, she was amazing."

Marin was indeed amazing, but the spirit and fight that Sindhu showed was equally impressive. If the 21-year-old can keep that sort of form and desire going, the Hyderabadi has the chance of being one of the best in the world, and who know, four years down the line, in Tokyo, maybe even get a measure of revenge by beating her Spanish opponent in another final.

"I have won the silver medal, things can change in life but now, I will celebrate," Sindhu added.

"I am really proud of the way I fought. I didn't expect that I'd make the final. After that, I worked really hard. The final was anyone's game. But she won a couple of points from there and remained ahead right until the end.

"I had come here with an aim, of winning a medal. That has happened. Life will definitely change from now. I can already feel it. But for now, I'm just getting used to the idea of 'Olympic medallist' next to my name."

If Sindhu wants it, really wants it, there can be a lot more than silver medallist to her name. Marin rose from being a good player into a really special one due to that desire and ability to crank it up when required, and that is the challenge that Sindhu faces now. While much will be down to her, her coach Pullela Gopichand will also play a big part in helping the youngster become one of the best, if not the best, in the world.

"I am happy with the way she conducted herself," Gopichand said. "I am sure she will go far in her sport."