PV Sindhu on Monday added a Commonwealth Singles gold to her wide array of medals with a win over Canada’s Michelle Li in the final. 

Born on July 5, 1995, in Hyderabad to national-level volleyball players, it was no surprise that she had a keen interest in sports from the very beginning. Inspired by 2001 all England Open champion Pullela Gopichand, Sindhu decided to play badminton. And so her training started at the age of 8.

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Her idol, Gopichand, later went on to train her at his academy. Speaking about her star pupil, Gopichand once said that Sindhu’s dedication and discipline is unmatched. Accolades and awards started pouring in for Sindhu at a very early age. She won the singles title at the sub-juniors in Pondicherry at 12 and the under-14 team gold medal at the 51st National State Games in India.

But that was just the beginning. She entered the international circuit at a young age of 14, winning several titles all over the world.

The ace shuttler grabbed eyeballs when she broke into the top 20 of the BWF World Ranking in 2012 at the age of 17. At 18, she became one of the youngest recipients of India’s coveted sports honour, the Arjuna award, in 2013.

In 2013, she pocketed her first Grand Prix win by defeating Singapore’s Gu Juan. At The World Championships in 2013, the shuttler won a bronze medal and repeated the feat the following year too.

The high point in her career was the Rio Olympics, where she reached the finals without dropping a game and brought home a silver medal. Asked what she missed most, her reply was ice-cream as coach Gopichand had forbidden ice cream and mobile phones during the strenuous run up to the Games. The dedicated pupil followed these instructions to the T.

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Sindhu was also the first Indian woman to win a silver medal in badminton. She had achieved the feat in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She may have lost in three straight sets in the 83-minute match then but her spirited show won every Indian heart.

Last year, she became the first Indian woman to win two individual Olympic medals. She defeated China’s He Bingjiao in straight sets to win a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.