Ace India shuttler PV Sindhu has said while there will be a lot of expectations on her going into the Tokyo Olympics, she is keen on staying focused on the basics and give it her best shot in the showpiece event.

The Rio 2016 Olympics silver medallist will be carrying the hopes of the country as she bids to bring home a medal from Tokyo 2020, slated to get underway from July 23. “There is a lot of expectations and responsibility this time. Back then (2016) I was one of the athletes but now expectations are a lot more. It is important to stay focused and just play your game and give your best. Obviously, you shouldn’t think about what others say because that would add extra pressure.“I take it in a very positive way because am sure people want to show their love and support. They want that medal back in the country but I make sure to be focused all the time,” she told ANI.

Talking about the Olympics and preparation around it, Sindhu said: “I am really excited and looking forward. Yeah, it is just nine days away and we have waited a long time now. We will be leaving on Saturday. I am prepared and all set. It’s just I have to play my best and play the game there.”

The 2019 World Champion Sindhu will lock horns against Hong Kong’s Cheung Ngan Yi and Israel’s Ksenia Polikarpova in the league stage. Sharing her thoughts about the draw, she said, “I would like to take it step by step. One match at a time. Even though Carolina [Marin] is not there, it’s not going to be easy because you know there are almost seven to eight players when it comes to Tai Tzu Ying, Ratchanok, Chen Yu Fei, Akane Yamaguchi, Nozomi Okuhara, and different girls. So every match is important.

“In the group stage I will play against the Hong Kong girl [Cheung Ngan Yi] and she is not easy, I have played with her before and she plays well. So, am just thinking about one match at a time and the rest depends on that particular day.”Sindhu under the guidance of her new coach, Park Tae-sang, will be hoping to clinch that elusive gold. Sindhu had been training under South Korean coach Kim Ji-Hyun, who was part of the Indian badminton coaching staff, since March 2019. It was also under the coach’s supervision that Sindhu became the World Champion that year. However, Hyun resigned shortly after that in September 2019 and Park Tae-sang was assigned the role to coach Sindhu and a few other female shuttlers on the Indian badminton circuit.