Sports

PULLELA GOPICHAND CLAIMS INDIA ON BRINK OF BADMINTON REVOLUTION

blog by riya rathore

For the number of people who have taken up playing the sport, I will say yes,” Gopichand said when asked if India was on the verge of a badminton revolution. “And hopefully these performances are more consistent.”It’s not only my academy, all academies across the country are running full. There are many, many parents who want their kids to give up everything and concentrate on badminton.” The kind of badminton we were playing was not in tune with what was needed at the highest level.”India now boasts a larger pool of players poised to succeed at the highest level but Gopichand is not resting on his laurels, yearning for a more robust system and better coaching.Indonesian Mulyo Handoyo, best known for guiding countryman Taufik Hidayat to Olympic gold in 2004, has been added to India’s coaching staff, which Gopichand says has given him more time to focus on the needs of players individually.Although I am very happy and very satisfied with the performances, I think for us to be sustainable, for us to call China has been the dominant force in badminton for decades but after sweeping all five titles at the 2012 London Olympics, 2016’s Rio Games proved far less productive for the Asian super power as other nations sought to take advantage.They bagged the men’s singles and doubles titles but only added a solitary bronze to that tally as India’s Pusarla Sindhu took silver in the women’s singles, losing out to Spain’s Carolina Marin in one of three finals without Chinese players. Sindhu’ssilver followed Saina Nehwal’s bronze in London for success-starved India, but Kidambi Srikanth’s three consecutive Super Series finals appearances has given badminton a shot in the arm in the world’s second-most populous country. “For the number of people who have taken up playing the sport, I will say yes,” Gopichand said when asked if India was on the verge of a badminton revolution. “And hopefully these performances are more consistent.”It’s not only my academy, all academies across the country are running full. There are many, many parents who want their kids to give up everything and concentrate on badminton.” Srikanth lost to compatriot B. Sai Praneeth in the final in Singapore before going on to win in Indonesia and Australia, where he beat Chinese Olympic and world champion Chen Long. In Indonesia, HS Prannoy also shone as he defeated three-times Olympic silver medallist Lee Chong Wei and China’s Chen in consecutive rounds before losing in the semi-finals.

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