Sindhu and Gopichand receive a hero's welcome in Hyderabad
India's first-ever woman silver-medallist at the Olympics, PV Sindhu, received a grand welcome at the Hyderabad International Airport on Monday. Although Sindhu lost the final of the badminton's singles event to World No. 1 Carolina Marin, her efforts and fighting spirit won a billion hearts.
The shuttler was India's first badminton player to play in an Olympic final. Sindhu proved she was not playing the final as an underdog when she sealed the first game. However, Carolina hit back with a superb fight breaking India's hope of a gold medal at the Rio 2016. The Indian settled for a second place after going down 21-19, 12-21, 15-21 against the Spaniard on Saturday.
Sindhu and Indian National Badminton Coach Pullela Gopichand were welcomed by scores of people with loud cheers and garlands at the airport. The duo was greeted by Sindhu's parents -- P V Ramana and P Vijaya -- besides Telangana Deputy Chief Minister Mohd Mahmood Ali, and some ministers from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
The festivities did not end at the airport as Sindhu was then taken in an open-top-motorcade. The procession began from the airport towards Gachibowli stadium, where the Telangana government has organised a gala felicitation in honour of the star shuttler.
Meanwhile, Sindhu's mother, whose happiness knows no bounds, has cooked everything the athlete relishes - biryani and Mysore Pak - as she was forbidden from eating during Rio 2016.
The Telangana government has announced ₹ 5 crore cash reward for the 21-year-old, a 1,000 square yard housing site near the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy in Gachibowli and a suitable government job if she is willing to accept it.
The Telangana government has also awarded ₹ 1crore to Sindhu's coach Gopichand.