PV Sindhu has become a force in world badminton. The Indian shuttler seems to take her game to the next level when it comes to big world events. The World Championships and Olympic Games can be considered as the biggest competition for international shuttlers, and Sindhu has made it a habit to bring her A game to such events.
In the last Olympics in Rio, she was in top form to win a silver medal. Before that, she might have won some major competitions, but it was her performance in Rio which made her a household name in badminton in India. Sindhu failed to cross the last hurdle against Okuhara in the final of the World Championships in Glasgow and was forced to settle for a silver medal.
It would not be wrong to say that these two medals are the biggest in her badminton career so far. Lets us compare both the medals.
World Championships 2017
Sindhu has once again lost a major final, but she should be proud of her performance in Glasgow.
The Indian shuttler received a bye in the first round and had an easy outing in the second against Kim Hyo Min, who lost in straight games. Next up was Cheung Ngan Yi, who tested Sindhu, but the Indian managed to scrape through to the next round, where she met Sung Ji in the semifinals.
The last four matches against the Chinese were supposed to be tough, but it was Sindhu at her best, and there was no stopping for the girl from Hyderabad, who emerged victorious in the final to set up a date with Nozomi Okuhara.
The final proved to be one of the best matches in the competition, where both Sindhu and Okuhara looked in a dazzling form and there was nothing to choose between the two. The world champion decider took 110 minutes, and it was the Japanese, who won the thrilling final to emerge as winners.
It is a dream for each and every Indian athlete to bring laurels to the country, and Sindhu did exactly that by winning the silver medal. She became an immediate hero for her superb performance in Rio.
The group stages proved to be a cruise for Sindhu, who topped the group and qualified for the knockout stages. The knockout stages proved to be just the opposite, with the quality of players she had to face.
In the R16, she faced Tai Tzu Ying, who was an ultimate favourite for the gold, but she shocked the Chinese Taipei player, beating her in straight games. The road ahead was getting tougher as she met China's Wang Yihan, and there was an element of confidence in the Indian shuttler's display, demolishing her in a tight match.
A win against Wang had set up a date with Okuhara, who also succumbed to Sindhu's brilliance. Then it was the finals, where Sindhu was pit against Carolina Marin. Despite an amazing win in the first game, the Spaniard overpowered her in the last two games of the final to dash Sindhu's hope of a gold medal.
It is not easy to compare the two competitions, as both have their own charm, and Sindhu proved her class in the Olympics and World Championships.
But, if you look at it closely, Sindhu's Olympics silver should rank right up there for a number of reasons. Sindhu had, in fact, struggled to make it to the main draw of the singles competition for Rio, but some important points in major events before the Games gave her a spot.
Sindhu might have faced some quality players in the World Championships 2017, but it comes nowhere close to the shuttlers that she met en route to the Rio final. She beat Tai Tzu, Wang and Okuhara, all three were considered huge favourites for the gold medal. She showed them exit door one after the other.
Beating such players in a quadrennial event like Olympics, and ending up with silver, stands next to none, and might still be considered as her greatest victory.