Pullela Gopichand : India is fortunate that we have players like Sindhu and Saina

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Pullela Gopichand : India is fortunate that we have players like Sindhu and Saina

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SportsCafe Desk


Pullela Gopichand has praised PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal for winning the silver and bronze medals respectively at the World Badminton Championships adding that India is fortunate to have players like them. Also, Sindhu admitted that she fought hard in the final but it was not her day.

Former badminton player Gopichand has trained the recent crop of top players in the country. Sindhu, who is one of his students has performed consistently on the world stage for a couple of years now. She won silver in the recently concluded World Badminton Championships in Glasgow to add to her silver in Rio in 2016. Gopichand believes that Sindhu's best is yet to come and that she will show her best performances in the upcoming years. He also praised Saina Nehwal who played a big role in changing the landscape of the game in India. 

“At 22, she (Sindhu) has won medals for four consecutive years under her belt and by the end of her career, she will have many golds. We are very fortunate that we have players like Sindhu and Saina, who have gone up and raised the bar of fitness. A good performance from the entire team including fitness coaches,” says Gopichand as reported by The Indian Express.

In the final, the umpire showed Sindhu a yellow card as she was taking extra time to coming back to the court but Gopichand said that he was not worried about it. 

“I think it’s a long match of 1 hr, 50 minutes. There are set of rules that are there. Different umpires interpret it differently. You need to stretch the rules as much as they permit it. Sindhu did a good job. What she did was definitely correct,” Gopichand added. 

This is the second time Sindhu has failed to cross the final hurdle on the big stage as she lost the final, against Nozomi Okuhara, 19-21, 22-20, 20-22. Almost a year ago it was the same story in the Olympic final against Carolina Marin where Sindhu went down the three games.

“I played my game and gave my best. Everyone has their own style of play. It is not that Chinese have a different style of play, although they played really well in the tournament but everyone has a different style of play. Fought hard but it was just not my day,” Sindhu said.

The Hyderabadi shuttler came to this tournament as a much-improved player. She believed in her abilities and showed glimpses of confidence and improved game sense during her matches, especially in the final. 

“We have been practicing really hard. We don’t have much time between the tournaments. Before the World Championships, however, we had one and a half months. So in a way, it was nice that we got so much time to prepare.”

“Mentally and physically, it is tiring but at that time, we just think that we have to get that point. Even I was just thinking that we just need to play at the court. It was a good match. From the first point, there were long rallies. It was not like I could have saved my energy. Every rally was equally tough,” she added.

“I never felt that fans cheering was disturbing. It felt good that there were so many fans to cheer me on. I was focused, so there is no question of disturbance,” Sindhu clarified. 

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