PV Sindhu and her compassion for her fellow Olympian moved Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-Ying to tears.
On August 2, China’s Chen Yufei beat Taiwan’s Tai Tzu-Ying in the badminton women’s singles final. In spite of losing the silver medal to Tzu Ying, Sindhu held her in an embrace post the match, reassuring the 27-year-old player that she did the best she could have.
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“After the match, I was satisfied with my performance. Later, Sindhu ran over and hugged me, held my face, and told me: I know you’re uncomfortable and you’ve been very good, but today isn’t your day. Then she held me in her arms and said she knows all about it,” Tzu-Ying wrote in a post on her Instagram account after the medal ceremony.
The two can be seen sitting side by side, smiling beneath their masks and showing off their respective medals in a slide of the carousel post.
“That sincere encouragement, made me cry. I was really sad because I tried really hard. Thank you again for your support and encouragement. Thank you all for walking with me till now,” she added.
In that very post she also gives thanks to everyone else who she felt contributed to her reaching the podium at the games.
Tzu-Ying had defeated Sindhu, the Rio Olympic silver-medallist and the reigning world champion, 21-18 21-12 in the semi-finals, ending the Indian’s hopes of securing the country’s first-ever gold medal in badminton.
However, Sindhu went on to win the bronze medal play-off against He Bing Jiao of China, who comes in the world’s top 10, to become the first Indian woman to win two medals at the Games.
Earlier, the Taiwanese player had hinted at an early retirement, which could explain why the win was crucial to her. “I will play until the end of next season before I revisit the decision,” she had said last year.
“The third time I stepped on the stage of this dream, I finally made it to the finals, but I couldn’t stand on the highest podium. There is always a little regret, but imperfection always exist, only to be motivated to pursue better results,” read the aforementioned post.
“Maybe I won’t have another chance to participate in the Olympics, but I’ve achieved this goal, just not so perfect.”