“The way (PV) Sindhu played was exceptional. The composure she showed was fantastic. Hopefully, in the years to come, we will better this result. We are glad to give this medal to the country,” said Pullela Gopichand, chief coach of the national badminton team.
On their return from the World Championship in Guangzhou, Gopichand said he didn’t want to compare Sindhu’s bronze winning effort with Saina Nehwal’s bronze at the London Olympics. “To be honest, we never thought of Sindhu winning a medal, as the draw was tough. She had a tricky first round. We didn’t think beyond the first round. That she had to play Wang Yihan in the pre-quarters made it tougher,” said Gopichand.
“Of course, Saina (Nehwal) and (Parupalli) Kashyap reached the quarterfinals by playing well. It augurs well for Indian badminton. Hopefully, we will better this and win many more medals in the future,” he said.
The former All-England champion praised Sindhu by saying that winning a medal at the World Championship at such a young age is tremendous. “Hats off to Sindhu for the kind of effort she put in. Playing her first World Championship and winning a medal is remarkable,” he said.
On the pressure he was under as a coach with Kashyap and Saina playing simultaneously, Gopichand said: “We didn’t have many players in the quarters in the past and for the first time are we having these issues. Hopefully, we will be better prepared next time,” he said.
Gopichand agreed that players from Thailand are posing more problems than the Chinese these days. “I think over the years, the world worked against the Chinese strategies. There was one wall to break. Today, we have many people saying that they have cracked the code a little bit. Now Thailand have four players in the top 20 in women’s singles. They bring out a different variety, a game very different from the Chinese. We have to figure it out and overcome it,” he said. The coach expects Saina and Sindhu to clash in international matches than in domestic tournaments. “I’m sure Saina and Sindhu will face each other many times.”