All eyes are on India’s P V Sindhu.
On Aug.17, the 21-year-old Hyderabad native earned a place in the women’s singles badminton semi-finals at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics after besting China’s Yihan Wang in the quarterfinals. Wang is ranked second in the world, making Sindhu’s victory even sweeter.
Sindhu, the current world no.10, began playing the sport at the age of eight. Coming from a family of volleyball players, Sindhu found her calling by chance, stumbling upon an intriguing game being played next to the volleyball court her father had taken her to.
Soon, she was smashing the shuttlecock like few others before. Pullela Gopichand, the 2001 All England Open Badminton Champion and a fellow Hyderabadi, noticed her talent and has been coaching her since she was 10.
Sindhu’s star began to rise after she won a bronze medal in the women’s singles event at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
And now, she is closer than ever to winning an Olympics medal. On Aug.18, Sindhu plays Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara in the semi-finals.