Proud moment for Indian badminton: Pullela Gopichand
New Delhi: National coach Pullela Gopichand heaped praise on his two wards, describing it as a landmark day for Indian badminton.
“Winning the men’s and women’s singles game of China Open in China is amazing. It is a brilliant effort for any nation and as an Indian I think it is a very proud moment for all of us,” he said.
Talking about Srikanth, Gopichand said: “If you look at his game, I think he played superbly. Fantastic victories. Superb is the word. The quality of the match was fantastic, the way he pulled off the match is amazing. If you analyse his strokes, he missed out a 6-7 winners by close margin but he played smart and brave.”
Praising Saina, Gopichand said: “It was a good win. She played well. Two Indians winning in China Open is great news. I wish I could hear the national anthem there. I am missing it.”
Former national coach Vimal Kumar, who has been training Saina since the Asian Games, said: “It was Saina’s hard work that helped her to win. She has been putting a lot of hours. I told her to include more quality than quantity. Now she has to be more consistent as there are eight to nine girls, who are very good. She played a sharp game in China and it will give her a lot of confidence to win in China. She was varying the pace of the game. She has been practising the variations. The Japanese girl is very good and one to be watched out for in future. She thrashed so many Chinese and has got great mobility.”
Asked about Srikanth, Vimal said: “It is a creditable win for Srikanth to beat Lin Dan in China. Our Indian players have been falling short. I am sure it will help his game and increase his level. It is a great prospect for Indian badminton.