Though P.V. Sindhu lost the badminton finals at the Rio Olympics, her parents feel that she put up a strong fight and still made India proud with the silver medal.
Though hoping for a gold, P.V. Ramana and P. Vijaya were elated that their daughter created history by becoming the first Indian shuttler to win a silver at Olympics. At 21, she also became the youngest Indian to win an Olympic medal.
"She was playing her first Olympics and still won the silver medal. Next time she will go for gold," said Ramana, a former volleyball player and Arjuna awardee.
Sindhu went down fighting in the final against Carolina Marin of Spain.
"I thank all Indians for their support. Of course she settled for silver and most of the people are disappointed but still I am sure that with her hardwork and inputs by her coach that she will perform well in future," he said.
Ramana, who earlier offered prayers at Ratnalammakunta, a remote village in West Godavari district of Andhra Pradesh, rushed back to Hyderabad by evening to catch the action live on television along with his wife, friends and other players at Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy.
The mood was upbeat when Sindu made a strong comeback to win the first set 21-19. There was not much to cheer when the world number one Marin dominated the second set to take it 21-12.
The decider raised hopes of a gold as Sindhu put up a tough fight. However, in the end Marin held nerves to clinch the title.
"Marin played very well. She deserved to be the champion," said Ramana.
"She (Sindhu) won the first game but I know Marin is not an easy player. The way she proved on the court was excellent. This is what Sindhu has to learn. How to shout, scream at the opponent," he added.
He hoped that Sindhu will perform well in the days to come and bring more laurels to the country.
The parents thanked coach Gopichand for all his support and encouragement, which helped her bag the silver medal. He also thanked all people who supported Sindhu.
People had turned up at the academy in large numbers to watch the match live on a big screen. There were celebrations with Sindhu's friends and fans hailing her historic achievement.
Meanwhile, the Telangana government will give a cash prize of Rs 1 crore to India's star shuttler P.V. Sindhu for winning the silver medal at the Rio Olympics.
The cash prize is likely to be presented by Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao to Sindhu after her return from Olympics, official sources said on Friday.
Under the new sports policy announced by the state government early this year, a gold medalist at Olympics is entitled for cash prize of Rs 2 crore, while a silver medal winner gets Rs 1 crore. A bronze medalist will get Rs 50 lakh.
Chief Minister Rao congratulated the Hyderabadi girl for winning the silver medal.
In his message, the Chief Minister hailed Sindhu's victory and described her as the pride of India, especially Telangana.
Sports minister T. Padma Rao met Sindhu in Rio and congratulated her on her historic feat. He also congratulated her coach Pullela Gopichand.