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We could’ve won more medals at World Badminton Championships: Pullela Gopichand

Despite India’s best ever performance at the World Badminton Championships, with PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal both bringing home medals, chief national coach Pullela Gopichand feels there could have been more medals from the event

other sports Updated: Aug 29, 2017 12:51 IST
Sandip Sikdar
Sandip Sikdar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
World Badminton Championships,Pullela Gopichand,PV Sindhu
Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand rued some of India’s near misses at the World Badminton Championships.(HT file photo)

Indian shuttlers created history at the World Badminton Championships, returning with two medals for the first time. PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal claimed silver and bronze medals in Glasgow, continuing the country’s tradition of winning at least one medal at the tournament since 2011.

However, chief national coach Pullela Gopichand feels that they could have bagged more medals.

READ | Saina Nehwal’s show at World Badminton affected by TV scheduling: Vimal Kumar

The former All-England champion spoke to HT from the Scottish city about Sindhu’s final, her emotions and what this means for Indian badminton, among other things.

Excerpts:

How did it feel watching that epic final?

It was one of those tough matches. Sitting courtside, you were also admiring both the players for the way they fought. It was close. There were very few options we had. It was really one of the best matches.

What did you advise Sindhu during the breaks?

There was very little strategy. It was just important to keep fighting and a few other things, like, to keep the shuttle in play and to ensure that whenever she gets a chance to attack, to go ahead.

READ | Why choker PV Sindhu is still not pure gold standard

How was Sindhu feeling after the contest? What were her emotions?

At the end of the day, you fight for gold and you have lost it. It doesn’t matter. She has done herself proud with the way she has played. The medal which she has won is not a mean achievement so I am very happy. The initial moments of disappointment of losing such a tough match are there but having said that, she will reconcile and is happy about it.

We will be returning with two medals. What does this mean for Indian badminton?

This is huge. There will be a time when we will win gold and probably medals in other events too, which we could have this time as well. But it is great for Indian badminton. It just shows the potential we have and, hopefully, we will get better results in the future.

READ | Saina Nehwal biopic lead Shraddha Kapoor proud of shuttler’s injury comeback

What do you make of the overall campaign of the Indians at the Worlds?

It was good. May be a couple of matches could have gone our way. There were doubles matches where we served on match points. We were close in the end. Those we could have turned around… and (Kidambi) Srikanth’s match also on another day could have had another result. Although two medals look good but it could have been better.

When will we win gold?

God willing, next year.

First Published: Aug 29, 2017 12:11 IST