Kidambi Srikanth recently became world no. 1 in the men’s category. Saina and Sindhu absolutely killed at CWG, 2018. They have made India proud. Let’s thank the man, their coach Pullela Gopichand for this success at the world stage.
I remember how as a kid I loved playing badminton. My father taught me the sport. We would watch the Olympics, the Championships and the BWF World Tours together. We would scream and clap at every point scored by our favourites. I also remember finding no Indian in the international circuit, which was something which would make me very sad. However, in 2009 when Saina Nehwal won the Indonesian Open Super Series, I was ecstatic. Things started to look up in 2010 when she won a hat-trick of titles and the world took notice of the Indian badminton circuit. Saina’s bronze in Women’s Singles at the London Olympics was a cherry on top.
Today, the Indian Badminton is at its peak and has reached its golden period. In 2016, Sindhu’s silver at the Olympics took the game to new heights of popularity. Srikanth’s win over Lin Dan at China Open 2014 finals made sure that boys were not left behind. In the year 2017, 13 major titles were won by seven different Indian players. Never in the history of badminton had so many Indian players dominated the circuit. Now, there have been so many instances when Indians are pitted against each other to win titles which were unimaginable few years back.
Saina, Sindhu and Srikanth, the pioneers of the Indian badminton share something in common which has helped them achieve such monumental success. It is none other than their coach, Pullela Gopichand. His academy at Hyderabad ‘The Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy’ has produced the most talented lot of Indian Badminton players. Mr Gopichand has changed the scenario of the game in the country with his hard work and patience with the players. He has groomed them, right from their childhoods to the most celebrated players of today. He’s nurturing budding players with the facilities available at the academy and of course, his never fading faith in his players. He has always believed in challenging his players and crossing difficult barriers to get to the top. Training sportsmen is a tough task, as it includes various facets. Mr Gopichand has devoted time to each of his players and has tried his best to turn their weaknesses into strengths. He has brought the best of them, all because of his hunger to put India on the map of world badminton.
His focused hard work over a long period of time has started bearing fruits. The way the Indian players have started playing in the tournaments leaves their opponents’ awestruck. His dedication is unmatched. He’s always had the back of his players whenever they come face to face with failure. India can never thank Mr Gopichand enough for his service to the nation. As someone who follows badminton, I thank Mr Gopichand, for doing what he does, so well. I hope you get the recognition that you deserve in a cricket-crazy country like ours.
Feature Image Credits – Sportskeeda