'Ran over and hugged me’: Sindhu's words leave World No.1 badminton player in tears

Star badminton player Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, on Sunday, became only the second Indian to win two Olympic medals, securing a bronze after a straight-game win over World no. 9 He Bing Jiao of China.

She didn’t stop there.

Shattered after going down in the Olympics women's singles final, world number one badminton player Tai Tzu Ying revealed that Sindhu's words of encouragement after the medal ceremony left her in tears.

PV Sindhu olympics
Bronze medallist P.V. Sindhu of India poses with her medal. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Tai Tzu-Ying Olympics of Taiwan
Silver medallist Tai Tzu-Ying of Taiwan poses with her medal. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Gold medallist Chen Yufei of China (M), silver medallist Tai Tzu-Ying of Taiwan (L) and bronze medallist P.V. Sindhu of India pose with their medals. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Chen Yufei of China
Chen Yufei of China celebrates winning the match against Tai Tzu-Ying of Taiwan. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
Tai Tzu-Ying
Tai Tzu-Ying of Team Chinese Taipei communicates with her coach Lai Chien Cheng (left) as she competes against Chen Yu Fei. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)
Sindhu Olympics
Bronze medalist Pusarla V. Sindhu of Team India poses for the camera with the national flagin Tokyo. (Photo by Lintao Zhang/Getty Images)

Competing in her third Olympics, Tai Tzu finally stood atop the podium, finishing with a silver medal after going down to Chen Yu Fei of China 18-21, 21-19, 18-21 in the final on Sunday.

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Five years ago at the Rio Olympics, Sindhu had emerged second best as she went down to Carolina Marin of Spain in a hard-fought three-game loss and the Indian knew exactly how the world no.1 shuttler was feeling.

“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,” Tai Tzu wrote on her Instagram account.

“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.

On Saturday, Tai Tzu 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.

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Tai Tzu-Ying of Taiwan in action during the match against PV Sindhu of India. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
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PV Sindhu of India reacts after winning her match against He Bingjiao of China. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed

Sindhu later won the bronze medal playoff against world no.9 He Bing Jiao of China to become the first Indian woman to win two medals at the Games.

The 27-year-old Tai Tzu penned down an emotional note, thanking everyone who has supported her.

Tai Tzu-Ying
Taiwan's Tai Tzu-Ying puts on her women's singles badminton silver medal at a ceremony in Tokyo. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images)

“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 exists, only to be motivated to pursue better results. Maybe I won't have another chance to participate in the Olympics, but I've achieved this goal, just not so perfect. I just want to tell myself: Dai Ji-hing, you're great! Thank you to all of you who have supported me, the results are always brutal and only acceptable but I try my best.”