New Delhi: One of India’s most renowned shooters, Joydeep Karmakar who came agonisingly close to winning a medal in the 2012 London Olympics and ended up finishing fourth in 50m rifle prone reckons that India’s badminton star PV Sindhu is no longer an Indian star but a global icon after winning bronze at the Tokyo Games.Also Read - Neeraj Chopra, Tokyo Olympics 2020 Gold Medallist, Receives Special Gift From 2008 Beijing Winner Abhinav Bindra
“PV Sindhu has a silver and a bronze and five world championships medals. So definitely, she is one of the greatest athletes ever and I think right now, Sindhu in real term is just not an Indian star anymore but an international star. We can have a lot of Olympic medals, we can have a Mirabai Chanu, we can Lovlina Borgohain, we can have many more athletes now winning but Sindhu is an international star which we didn’t have ever I would say,” said Karmakar in an exclusive chat with india.com. Also Read - Deepika Pdukone Is 'Burning Calories' With PV Sindhu, Ranveer Singh Is Having 'Major FOMO Attack'
“It is one thing going there as favourite and then winning I think is a big thing because often we see that unexpected people perform because the burden of expectations are not on them,” added the 41-year-old while talking about Sindhu’s bronze medal win. Also Read - Thorough Coaching Programme Reason Behind Indian Hockey Revival: MM Somaya
“Sindhu went to Tokyo with the expectations of billion people who knew that she’s going to win a medal and she actually worked hard to prove that right. To be wrong is something different but to be right is, I think an even bigger achievement,” he further went on to add.
Talking about Mary Kom, the top Indian marksman said, “At 39, in a sport like boxing when you qualify for the Olympics, it is a big deal. I would say younger age cannot be an excuse but then you know older age cannot be an excuse as well because if you qualify then you are willing to participate and you know what kind of opponent you will be facing and she was brave enough to face these things and from that aspect, I will definitely have a lot of respect for her, yet maybe we were not thinking about a medal from her but then she is going there, representing India and being the legend she is, it is a very big moment for all of us. A fanboy moment for all of us.”
With the Indian shooters expected to win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, it was rather disappointing when they came back empty-handed. Speaking on their failure Karmakar felt that Saurabh Chaudhary did live up to his expectations and he was brilliant in the qualifying stages but Manu Bhaker was way off her usual self and it showed in her performance.
“Totally different story for Saurabh and totally different story for Manu and you cannot compare both the performance because Saurabh’s performance was top of the world in both his qualification and in the individual. Also in mixed he was absolutely brilliant but in this event, a lot depends on the partner also and Manu didn’t do well,” Karmakar reckoned.
“The individual event for Saurabh was good as he qualified to take the top place and this is the first time in the history of shooting in India that somebody topped the qualification and yes it was unfortunate that he didn’t get much chance in the finals too. I think Saurabh was one of the best athletes in the Indian contingent,” according to Karmakar.
At the same time, Karmakar, who has competed in more than 25 World Cups and is the recipient of the Arjuna Award also sounded hopeful of Manu’s future and stressed on the fact that she is young and will learn from her mistakes and this experience might help her to come back stronger.
“See experience is something which is not learnt overnight, So this is also a big eye-opener for her and performing under pressure or in adverse conditions is a different challenge. Her weapon malfunction, maybe for the first time she had faced such a thing in her first big Olympic match and so that is something which is like very shocking but once she fails and it’s over she can now think over it and maybe, write it down in her diary and introspect about it,” said the 41-year-old.
“This experience will definitely help her and there are a lot of things to learn from these failures actually. So I think mentally she has understood and by her own admission she was also trying too hard. Once you try too hard it’s obvious that there is weakness. Your peak performance is always effortless. So these are things Manu should learn from here and I am sure that she is learning,” reckoned Karmakar.