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Thursday, 2 February 2012

Saina can hope for a medal: Gopichand

 “Saina Nehwal has the chance of winning an Olympic medal, but it all depends on her preparations in the three months ahead of the London Games,” said Pullela Gopichand, National coach and former All England champion. He was at courtside on Tuesday, the penultimate day of the National badminton championship.

Gopichand admitted, “European and other countries are progressing ten times faster than India, but what our players have achieved in the last few years is laudable. The fact that Saina has been able to retain her World No. 4 ranking for some time is a great achievement, and if she continues to do so, there is no reason why she cannot hope for a medal in the Olympics.”

“There are some exciting prospects among the boys too. Sourabh Verma, Sai Praneeth, H.S. Prannoy, Srikanth and Sameer Varma are all exciting prospects for the future and should be hearing more about them. On the distaff side, Saina, at 21, is there and P.V. Sindhu, just 16, is progressing well and can be counted. They should be around for sometime and it augurs well for the country. Hopefully in another 3-5 years, someone else will hit the high strings,” Gopi said.

On national structureAbout the national structure, Gopi felt that it was natural for the players to improve their rankings abroad, but should also try and play the domestic events as well.

As for his biography, World Beneath His Feet, Gopi replied, “there are many things in the book that are unknown to average players. I am sure reading the book will benefit students and younger players a great deal.”

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