Advertisement

Home / Sports / Time to focus on individual medals: Gopichand

Time to focus on individual medals: Gopichand

Indian men’s badminton has been starved of headline-grabbing success since Gopi’s 2001 All England Championships victory
India players and support staff pose with the Tricolour after winning the Thomas Cup in Bangkok on Sunday.
India players and support staff pose with the Tricolour after winning the Thomas Cup in Bangkok on Sunday.
AP/PTI

Angshuman Roy   |   Published 16.05.22, 01:32 AM

Pullela Gopichand, badminton’s chief national coach, feels Sunday’s Thomas Cup triumph is a huge achievement but adds that focus should be now on individual medals on the big stage.

“Yes, it’s a great achievement. In the past we have won a singles or a doubles match but the entire team excelling in a tournament like Thomas Cup is a first. This is top-drawer stuff. As a team we have been formidable for some time now and this trophy is a testimony to that,” Gopi, as he is known as in the badminton circle, told The Telegraph from Hyderabad on Sunday.

Advertisement

“Now we should aim for individual medals on the world stage. We have to consistently beat a Victor (Axelsen) a (Kento) Momota or a Lee Zii Jia  in big-ticket tournaments. That will be our focus.”

Dane Axelsen is the 2020 Tokyo Olympic champion, Momota of Japan is the world No. 2 and Malaysian Lee is the reigning Asian champion.

Indian men’s badminton has been starved of headline-grabbing success since Gopi’s 2001 All England Championships victory. Kidambi Srikanth was the world No. 1 in 2018 and in the previous recorded some memorable victories but those did not give an Olympic medal. “It will come soon,” Gopi said.

The Indian singles team do not have a designated coach since late last year. “It’s not an issue. It’s just that we do not have a foreign coach (after Agus Dwi Santoso left in November last year). (Mohammed) Siyadath (Ullah) is doing a wonderful job,” he said.

The Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy has played a huge role in badminton’s boom in the country. Gopi, however, chose to play down his role. “It’s a collective effort.

“The sports ministry, Sports Authority of India, Badminton Association of India (BAI)… Everyone plays its part. And don’t forget the most basic thing. It’s the players who deliver.”

Cash awards

Sports minister Anurag Thakur announced a cash award of Rs 1 crore for the badminton team. BAI president Himanta Biswa Sarma also announced a reward of Rs 1 crore for the winning squad and Rs 20 lakh for the support staff.



Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
 
 
 
Copyright © 2020 The Telegraph. All rights reserved.