Unlike the 2016 Rio Olympics, the entire nation’s hope lies solely on PV Sindhu to bring a medal back home since Saina Nehwal has not qualified for the Tokyo Olympics 2021. It won’t be the same for PV Sindhu as it was back in 2016, as many of these players often play against each other, which gives them a brief idea about their game.
She entered the 2016 Olympics as a 9th seed, and many wouldn’t have given her a chance to win a silver medal there. Five years later, now they know she is a strong contender for a podium finish, so that they will keep an eye on her strength and weaknesses.
Let us see if she can repeat the performance at Tokyo Olympics by comparing her with top players and Carolina Marin pull out effect:
Carolina Marin pulls out of the Tokyo Olympics
Who can forget the nerve cracking match in the finals of the 2016 Rio Olympics where Carolina Marin defeated PV Sindhu with a close margin of 19-21, 21-12, 21-15. Carolina Marin has not once but twice stopped PV Sindhu from winning the title (the second one was the 2018 World Championship, where she lost in straight sets to the Spaniard). PV Sindhu will be relieved because Marin was in hot form in 2021, winning four titles. The Spaniard pulling out results in PV Sindhu entering Olympics as 6th seed.
Let us look at some of the players who stand in her way to glory:
PV Sindhu vs Tai Tzu Ying
The current world number 1 will pose the biggest threat to PV Sindhu at Tokyo Olympics. PV Sindhu has an abysmal record against the Chinese-Taipei player Tai Tzu Ying losing on 13 out of 18 occasions.
PV Sindhu vs Chen Yufei
Chinese players have usually dominated badminton event in Olympics right from 1992, and it is no different this time. Chen Yu Fei is currently world number 2, and the record against the Indian shuttler is more or less even with a 6-4 scoreline in favour of PV Sindhu. Last time when these two met, the Chinese player defeated Sindhi at the 2019 World Tour Finals.
PV Sindhu vs Nozomi Okuhara
Nozomi Okuhara won a bronze medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics behind Carolina Marin and PV Sindhu. Therefore, she has the perfect home advantage going into the Olympics, and both the players have met each other 18 times, with the Indian leading 10-8. The last match played between them was when the Japanese defeated Sindhu at the All England Open 2020.
PV Sindhu vs Ratchanok Intanon
This player will have a massive impact on PV Sindhu since the Thai player has defeated Sindhu in their last two outings. Therefore, she enters the games as the 5th seed ahead of PV Sindhu.