HYDERABAD: Pullela Gopichand has broken his silence over Saina Nehwal’s exit from his academy. The coach says he didn’t feel hurt. “I’m not as emotional as I was 10 years ago, so I’m okay with it. It’s good for the country if she performs,” said Gopichand in an interview with TNIE. “My work is there for all to see. Anybody who talks should look at that.”
On the badminton scene in India
It’s been a great year for Indian badminton, with many firsts. This was a crucial year with Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, world championships, Super Series and Uber Cup. From that perspective, medals at Uber Cup, Asian Games (first ever) and decent success at the WC and CWG made it a very successful year. We could have done better, but overall it’s been fantastic. What makes it exciting is that many have won — Saina, (PV) Sindhu, HS Prannoy, (Kidambi) Srikanth, (Parupalli) Kashyap, (RMV) Gurusaidutt — and out of the blue, Arvind Bhat won the German Open. Ajay Jayram won the Dutch Open. We’ve 6-7 in men’s top 50.
It’s very credible that Jwala (Gutta) and Ashwini (Ponnappa) won the CWG medal. And also at the Uber Cup. A lot needs to be done at the structural and grassroots. I’m happy out of the four sub-junior medals we’ve won at the Asian juniors, a silver and two bronze came in doubles. It’s a good beginning.