Manipal: Hundreds of thousands of students in Manipal University food courts and other places on the campus around television sets watching history in the making at Rio were as excited and ecstatic as all Indians when P.V.Sindhu was playing for the Olympic gold medal on Friday night. They have been following the Indians closely every day after classes. But the final match was special. The students trooped in to the food courts to long before the match started. They watched history being scripted. An Indian woman in Olympic badminton final.
The deafening yells when the Indian star won a point and silence at other times appeared to have transported everyone to the venue itself. Although the gold was elusive, it did not matter because the euphoria of the semi-final victory against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara and an assured silver was a great joy in itself. “She played a great final against Spaniard Carolina Marin and that was good enough for the billion hearts which may have missed a beat every now and then as the game progressed,” said one student amidst the din. The oohs and aahs of the exciting match can be captured in these expressions by students who were glued to television sets in the food courts and other places.
Fynn Moller an exchange student from Germany studying at the School of Communication said: “Sitting in the dark off-campus sports lounge, I had an exciting evening with my Indian friends. I kept moving closer and closer to the screen with every point by Sindhu. After the first game there was careful excitement hanging in the lounge. The third game resulted in a sweaty and loud emotional rollercoaster that came to an abrupt stop. The loss after the final game, however did not feel like one. We were all cheering for Sindhu overcoming the odds and for India as a whole”.
“It was just amazing,” said Aviraj Srivastava a third semester student of School of Communication. “I could see the passion for sports in everyone's eye at the food court. Some of them had food in their plates, but their eyes were fixed on the TV sets,” he quipped and added, “For us, Sindhu did not lose the gold. She’s won a billion hearts”.
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