Deep inside, I knew Sindhu will win a medal at Rio, says Gopichand

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Deep inside, I knew Sindhu will win a medal at Rio, says Gopichand

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SportsCafe Desk

09/08/2016

Despite winning six major titles and a silver medal at the Olympics, PV Sindhu's coach Pullela Gopichand believes that the 21-year old still has time to reach her peak.The coach was also pleased that Sindhu was able to win a medal at the Olympics against all odds and credited it to perfect planning.

PV Sindhu upset some of the stalwarts of the game on her way to the final in the women's Badminton singles event in the Olympics becoming the first Indian female athlete to do so. But her coach Pullela Gopichand believes that Sindhu is still a work in progress, pointing out that she needs to be more consistent with her performances.

At a felicitation event organized by the Olympic Gold Quest on Wednesday, Gopichand told The Hindu, “Even today I feel she is a work in progress. She will have a few bad matches, bad losses. Maybe she is not consistent all the time but she has been giving us the results.”

Gopichand felt that the medal success at Rio was mostly down to perfect planning and divine intervention.

“The way we plotted and planned it after her injury last year, everything was done to perfection. So much was done that I wouldn’t expect it would be humanly possible. I believe that it’s divine grace that’s helped us achieve this,” he said.

Speaking about developing Sindhu's technique and fitness, Gopichand opined that Sindhu still has time to reach her prime.

“From very early we knew that she was going to be tall. We needed to work. It’s not easy to S muscles on those long limbs till you actually grow your height. People would come and say she is good but her legs are weak, so I was like: “abhi kitna karoon”. So I just kept telling that it will take time and that she is a work in progress,” Gopichand said.

The coach also felt that he had a gut feeling that Sindhu would win a medal at the Olympics.

“Somewhere down the line, deep inside I knew that we were going to win a medal. I didn’t say it to many people. Maybe two-three people I mentioned it to,” he said.

Despite major stats pointing out that only the top three seeds are going to win medals, Sindhu who is ranked No.9 in the world, upset World No.2 Wang Yihan, and fifth-seeded Nozomi Okuhara, on her way to the final against World Champion Carolina Marín. Gopichand also expressed his satisfaction that they were able to win a medal against many odds.

“There was a stats-based report which I knew — the players were unaware of it — that the top three ranked players were the only ones who have won the medals and these players don’t have a chance. But then that’s sport. The average of winners was between 23.6 and 25.6 so she wasn’t figuring in that list of medal winners as well. But I think the conditions were right and she really prepared well and by God’s grace, things went well,” he said.

“From her perspective, she still has time from being her best. Hopefully she doesn’t get any major injuries in her career. If god is kind, there’s a lot she is capable of,” Gopichand concluded.

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