Having returned from the Olympic Games on a high with his prodigy Saina Nehwal’s bagging a bronze, India’s national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand said the country’s budding shuttlers have a bright future and are capable of achieving bigger feats.

“We definitely have a great future. Our players are young. I hope we definitely achieve bigger things,” he told PTI after returning from London.

Apart from Saina Nehwal, Parupalli Kashyap also did well and became the first Indian male to reach the quarterfinals in the Olympics.

Pullela Gopichand has played a crucial role in the emergence of both Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap as world class players. He has been the coach of Saina Nehwal for the past several years and has attributed to her success.

“I am very happy today that she is able to achieve this great feat,” said Pullela Gopichand, who won the All England Open Badminton Championship in 2001.

Asked how he strategises when it comes to facing the Chinese shuttlers, who are top seeds in badminton, the coach explained, “It is not that they all play the same game. Wang Yihan plays a different as compared to others. Different players have different styles. It is very important that we plan for each of these players separately.”

The 38-year-old coach, who has set up the Gopichand Badminton Academy that is hailed for its coaching and facilities, said he was happy with his academy’s role in the players’ growth.

“Both are very important for a player, the coach and the facilities. Today, I am happy that we have been able to put both of these together and with the hard work of all these players, we have been able to achieve things,” he said.

(This article was published on August 9, 2012)
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