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

Disha Saxena

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PV Sindhu’s recent feat in BWF World Championships of Badminton made India’s heart soar with pride. We can slowly see a change in the sports culture where sports other than cricket are getting their due recognition they rightfully deserve. For a very long time, cricket dominated the scene, but recent times have suggested that other sports are also being encouraged.

PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal’s outstanding performance in the BWF World Championships of Badminton inspired me to throw light on some of the women badminton players of India who have time and again made us proud

  • Arundhati Pantawane

Born in 1989, Arundhati Pantawane hails from the state of Maharashtra. She is an Indian female badminton singles player. Pantawane won a gold medal at the 2011 National Games, and a silver at the 75th Senior National Badminton Championships. Coached by Pullela Gopichand, she holds the Bahrain International Challenge 2012 title. She recently married Arun Vishnu, a multiple-time national doubles champion.


  • Ashwini Ponnappa

Ashwini Ponnappa was born in Bangalore, Karnataka in the year 1989. She represents India internationally in both the women’s and mixed doubles discipline. She, along with Jwala Gutta, has been ranked among the top 20 in the BWF World Rankings. Asnwini won the bronze medal at the BWF World Championships in 2011, and a gold medal in women’s doubles in 2010 Commonwealth Games held in Delhi. Her recent victory includes a gold in women’s doubles in South Asian Games 2016 held in Guwahati.


  • SainaNehwal

Saina Nehwal hails from Hisar, Haryan, and was born in the year 1990.  Having achieved remarkable success at an age of 27 years, she has become extremely popular. In 2015, she  attained  world number 1 ranking, hence becoming the only female badminton player from India, and overall second Indian player after Prakash Padukone, to achieve such an astounding accomplishment. She was conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, and the Arjuna Award by the Government. In 2016, the Government of India honoured her with the Padma Bhushan Award.


  • PV Sindhu

PV Sindhu  currently holds rank number 4 in the BWF World Ranking. She won a silver medal in the 2016 Summer Olympics becoming the only woman player apart from Saina Nehwal to have won an Olympic medal. Coached by Puella Gopichand, Sindhu is a right-handedplayer. Her recent match with Nazomi Okuhara at the World Badminton Championships in Glasgow was the second longest women’s singles match  bringing  the viewers at the edge of their seats.


  • Jwala Gutta

Jwala Gutta along with Ashwini Ponnappa have been ranked among the top 20 BWF World ranking in 2015.  She has won the National Badminton Championships fourteen times. She has won a bronze medal in the 2011 BWF World Championships and one at the 2014 Thomas and Uber Cup. She has made India proud at many occasions and continues to inspire young badminton players.


Feature Image Credits: www.india.com

Anukriti Mishra

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