PV Sindhu walked onto the badminton court in Basel on Sunday evening with two silver and two bronze medals at the World Championships. Following her demolition of Nozomi Okuhara, she walked out with her first gold, which was also the first ever by an Indian woman.
Her long wait for the title had finally ended and even she seemed in disbelief at the gold disc around her neck.
"I can finally say finally. I've waited for this victory for a long time and finally I've become national, sorry, world champion," she said just after winning the title in 38 minutes.
Long used to falling just short at the world's biggest stage, Sindhu was still getting used to the idea of becoming world champion with all that it entailed.
"I was expecting this for a very long time now. Now I have got it so I have to enjoy it. I have to feel it. It made me really special when the national flag was raised and the national anthem was playing. I had goosebumps at that moment. It was a very proud moment for me."
The long wait - she had won her first World bronze back in 2013 -- had led to questions about her ability to close out the biggest matches of her career, but those were answered emphatically. Sindhu admitted her relief at finally going all the way.
"I've been waiting for a long time. Last time it was silver and the previous time also it was silver and now I'm world champion. I've finally got this."
While the weight of expectations might have seemed like too much to bear, Sindhu said she treated the match like any other.
"I just focussed on my match. I didn't play thinking it was a final. I just played it any other match. I played it like a semi or a quarterfinal at this tournament. Winning or losing was secondary to me. It was important that I go to court at my 100% and give my 100% on the court. I've given that and proved myself."
The match itself was expected to be a closely fought one considering Sindhu's previous World Championship final encounter with Okuhara was a three-set near two-hour epic. This time though, there was no semblance of a fight from the Japanese. Sindhu said she knew what she was up against but was well prepared.
"Usually Japanese girls play a lot of rallies. They were long rallies in this game too but I was dominating all of them. I was leading from the start and finished it off. I was confident because i was giving away one or two points but I was getting them back," she said.
While Sindhu wasn't sure how she would celebrate the win, she dedicated the title to her mother.
"I will celebrate a lot. It's my mom's birthday. So I dedicate it to her. So happy birthday, mom. I thought I wanted to gift her something so I will gift her this gold medal."