Gopichand says school-level sports key to India winning more Olympic medals

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Gopichand says school-level sports key to India winning more Olympic medals

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SportsCafe Desk

08/30/2016

While the rest of India has been busy finding issues with the sport at the top levels, Pullela Gopichand may have hit on the most important one yet – school-level sports. Gopichand pointed to India's lack of a sports culture and believes we can win medals only if India brings in a sports culture.

Speaking about the need for change at the grassroots, Gopichand said, "We have come a long way since my playing days. There is a lot of government support these days but that is not going to give us medals. The help is there for top athletes but there is hardly anything happening at the grassroots," reported PTI.

Gopichand also talked about the need to encourage school-level sports saying that is where talent can be discovered and groomed to world-class levels.

"School sport is important. Unless we have a large pool of players playing different sports, it is tough to get more than an odd medal.

"We have a huge population so that makes it all the more challenging (creating sports culture). We have far too many kids dropping out of the system and leaving sport midway," he said.

PV Sindhu, who received the Rajiv Khel Ratna earlier, also talked about what was going through her mind before the semi-final against Nozomi Okuhara and the final against World No. 1 Carolina Marin.

"I said it to myself that I got enough bronze (two in World Championships) and there was no way I am going to lose a semi-final again. I just wanted to win the semi-final and be assured of a better colour," she said.

She added, "Then in the final, I went with the mindset of winning against Carolina Marin. We have played each other many times and I beat her in Denmark last year so I was confident going into the match. But she played really well and was a deserving winner," reported PTI.

Also read:Pullela Gopichand | The untold story of India’s badminton Dronacharya

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