One can only guess at the reception the 21-year-old player will receive when she returns into the arms of 1.3 billion Indians after becoming the country’s most successful female Olympian with her silver-medal performance in Rio.
The fact that she had been beaten 19-21 21-12 21-15 by Spanish world number one Carolina Marin in the final mattered little for a country that until Friday had won a solitary bronze at these Games.
After winning the Silver medal she spokes to the reporters in Rio.
“I’m really, really happy because my ultimate goal was to get a medal at the Olympics,” she said as she clung on to the silver medal around her neck.
“I thought it would be a gold but never mind, it’s still a silver. I never thought I would make it to here… overall I am happy.”
For most of her career Sindhu has largely remained in the shadow of fellow Indian and former world number one Saina Nehwal.
Along with Nehwal, who won a bronze four years ago, medals were expected from 2008 shooting gold medallist Abhinav Bindra, mixed doubles tennis pair Sania Mirza and Rohan Bopanna, pistol shooter Jitu Rai, boxer Vikash Krishan and shooter and 2012 silver medallist Gagan Narang to name just a few.
Freestyle wrestler Sakshi Malik finally ended the barren run on Wednesday with her bronze before Sindhu, who is mentored by 2001 All England Badminton champion Pullela Gopichand, doubled the medals tally on Friday.
“I am the first Indian to get a silver medal at these Olympics so that’s great to hear and I’m really very proud of my country,” she added.
“This medal was important to inspire Indians as there are many players coming up who in the future will succeed.”