Hyderabad: Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu arrived at Gachibowli stadium in Hyderabad on Monday where the Telangana state government has organised a grand felicitation for her.
Sindhu reached the venue riding in an open-top bus amid scenes of jubilation and loud cheers from scores of people on the streets. Sindhu, accompanied by coach Pullela Gopichand, was greeted by her parents — PV Ramana and P Vijaya — besides Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mohd Mahmood Ali, and some ministers from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh on her arrival at Hyderabad airport.
“I want to thank my coach Gopichand, it’s only because of him that I am here, I also want to thank my parents and the KCR government for their support. I did not expect so many people will be here to welcome me, I thank you all” Sindhu said to a packed Gachibowli stadium.
Earlier, displaying the silver medal, Sindhu waved to the cheering crowds from the open-top-bus on the way from the airport towards Gachibowli stadium.
Meanwhile, Dipa Karmakar, who came 4th in the women’s vault finals narrowly missing out on a bronze medal, also received a grand welcome in Agartala, travelling in an open jeep while swarms of fans waved at her on the streets.
A school holiday was announced to welcome Dipa Karmakar back to her home state. Karmakar has already been recommended for the Khel Ratna award.
While congratulating Sindhu for her feat, Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, after chairing a Cabinet meeting on Saturday said, “a grand welcome would be organised on her arrival in the city on August 22”.
Telangana Deputy CM Mohammad Mahmood Ali said that the state was ‘planning to give Sindhu proper coaching’ so that she could win the gold medal next time.
Telangana government had announced Rs 5 crore cash reward to Sindhu, a 1,000 square yard housing site near the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Gachibowli and suitable government job, if she is willing.
Hyderabad Collector Rahul Bojja, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) Commissioner B Janardhan Reddy along with heads of various departments on Sunday reviewed the welcome arrangements and also inspected the routes from where the motorcade would pass.
Telangana government had also announced cash prize of Rs 1 crore to Sindhu’s coach P Gopichand.
On August 19, the 21-year-old from Hyderabad lost to world No 1 Carolina Marin of Spain 21-19, 12-21, 15-21 in a pulsating final that lasted for an hour and 23 minutes.
Sindhu, the two-time World championship bronze medallist, became the first Indian woman player to clinch a silver in the Olympics and fifth woman player from India to win a medal in the quadrennial games.