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'I have no problems with seniors'

Chief coach Pullela Gopi Chand believes that Indian shuttlers need more international exposure if they are to do well at the international level, writes Saji Chacko.

india Updated: Feb 04, 2007 23:20 IST

Chief coach Pullela Gopi Chand is of the view that Indian shuttlers need more international exposure if they are to do well at the international level.

The former All England champion said: “We should conduct more international-level tournaments and send juniors abroad if we want to do well at the international level. Our juniors are very talented. To ensure they make the right transition to the next level, they should be given the opportunity to play foreign players. This can be achieved by having more international tournaments here and sending them abroad,” he said.

He also championed the cause of long-term coaching camps, saying that these would ensure sustained hard work. “By having three-month long camps, we are going to inculcate the virtue of hard work.”

However, there is a catch. Not all seniors subscribe to Gopi’s views. “I have never said that all the senior players should attend the camp for the entire duration. They can join and leave as and when they like, so long as they produce the desired results,” he said.

He also felt that to broad base the sport, it had to be taken to the grassroot level. “There is proper infrastructure only in a few states. The Badminton Association of India (BAI) needs to ensure the game becomes popular in more states so that we can get more youngsters. Only then we can broad base the sport,” Gopi opined.

On the issue of hiring a foreign coach, Gopi said that negotiations were on to get an Indonesian on a full-time basis.