As China’s Wang Xin limped out of the Wembley Arena midway into the bronze-medal playoff against Saina Nehwal, coach Pullela Gopi Chand lived a dream through his most illustrious pupil.
“It was really sad and unfortunate that Wang Xin had to go out that way but nevertheless, I think Saina definitely deserves the medal. It’s huge for Indian badminton. It was my dream for a long time,” said the former All England champion.
Gopi felt even though the Chinese girl who had defeated Saina on four of the six previous occasions, things had just begun to shift India’s way when Xin conceded the match due to a knee injury.
“The conditions were on the slower side. Our plan was to play long rallies and get a lot of rallies going. It was the same plan as yesterday. But yesterday Wang Yihan was too strong and quick and did not let Saina do that. But the plan had begun to work towards the end of the first game. Xin was beginning to look tired, we were certainly optimistic,” Gopi said soon after the match.
Nehwal’s thinktank had gone out there with the plan of putting her stamina to good use against the speed of the Chinese. “Long rallies tire opponents out and negate the speed. Saina has a lot of stamina and we have seen that as a match stretches it is beneficial for Saina.”