Reigning world champion P V Sindhu on Monday said she was completely blank after winning a second successive Olympic medal and it took her a while to realise the enormity of her historic achievement in the ongoing Games.
The 26-year-old Indian on Sunday etched her name among the all-time greats after winning badminton's women's singles bronze medal to add to the silver she won at Rio de Janeiro five years back. She became the first Indian woman and second overall from the country to achieve the feat.
"...I was blank, my coach was in tears, it was a big moment, I hugged him and thanked him. I didn't know what to do for 5-6 seconds, I shouted so all emotions came together at that moment," she said during a virtual press conference.
In the third-place play-off, Sindhu beat China's He Bing Jiao. The win came after a painful loss in the semifinals to world no 1 Tai Tzu Ying.
Sindhu said coach Park Tae-sang's encouragement helped her to recover from the semifinal loss and claim the bronze for the country.
"After semis, I was really sad, I was in tears but my coach said it is not over yet. There were mixed emotions, if I should be sad or happy but he told one thing. He said 'there is a lot of difference between a fourth position and a bronze' and that really hit me," she said.
"I went with the mindset that I have to give my 100 percent."
A lot of questions were raised when Sindhu decided to move out of the Pullela Gopichand Academy and train at the Gachibowli indoor stadium which had bigger halls similar to the venue here.
Sindhu said it was one of the best decisions, especially since drift played a role during the Games at the Musashino Forest Plaza here.
"Yeah, from the beginning there was no controversy ... We had this opportunity to play in conditions similar to Olympics, so from February we have been playing there, it has really helped us because drift played a big role and I learnt a lot in Gachibowli, I learnt to control the shuttle better.
"It had international courts with air conditioners, which was important. So I feel it was the best decision...We got used to different players from Suchitra academy also. so it was important."