Badminton player PV Sindhu created history on 19 August, when she became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal. The 21-year-old pushed world champion Carolina Marin of Spain to the edge in the final of the women's singles event, but it ended in disappointment with Sindhu losing 19-21, 12-21, 15-21 in a game that lasted 83 minutes,

The world number 10, who until now was India's second-most well-known singles player after Saina Nehwal, stepped out of her compatriot's shadow and bettered her record. Saina had won the bronze medal at the women's event four years ago at London 2012.

PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu became the first Indian to win a silver medal at the Olympic GamesGetty

India who sent their largest-ever contingent to Brazil and were facing the possibility of going home without a medal have seen their women athletes save face for the country. Wrestler Sakshi Malik won bronze, becoming the first Indian women to win a medal in wrestling while gymnast Dipa Karmakar's performances have also drawn praise from fans and experts across the sub-continent.

Sindhu, whose performances sent a country of more than 1.2 billion people into raptures, is now an icon of the sport. But, who exactly is the shuttler who has won a billion hearts?

We at IBTimes UK take a look at the top five career moments of the Rio 2016 Olympics silver medallist.

1) PV Sindhu, full name Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, announced herself on the world stage in 2011 winning the Indonesia International. The then 16-year-old beat Fransisca Ratnasari 21-16, 21-11.

2) She won her maiden Grand Prix Gold title two years later in 2013 upsetting Chinese shuttler Gu Juan in the finals. The win got a lot of attention from the media who tipped her to play for honours at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

3) The 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow saw Sindhu claim her first medal for India — a bronze.

4) She completed a hat-trick of Macau Open wins in 2015, also winning in 2013 and 2014. Sindhu became the first shuttler to win the tournament three times in its history.

5) Sindhu created history at the Rio 2016 Olympics by becoming the first Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal for the country.