Not looking too far ahead towards the Rio Olympics, national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand said yesterday there were a few top-notch tournaments for self-analysis before the mega event.
"It's still some time away from the qualification (for Rio Games). The first real benchmark will be the qualification. But having said that we have the India Open (in Delhi), GP Gold (Lucknow), Thomas and Uber Cups, Asian Championships, also in India, and the All England. These are the big events in which we have a chance to gauge ourselves," said Gopichand here yesterday.
The cut-off date for qualifying for the Rio Games Badminton is the first week of May, 2016. While not committing himself to say India can better its show in 2012 at London, where Saina Nehwal created history to pick up the country's first bronze medal in badminton, Gopichand hoped more players will qualify for the Olympics and
give a bigger push to the medal hunt this time around.
"All said and done, I think the medal we won is one of the biggest moments for Indian badminton, for me personally. To better it would be great. Even otherwise, to have a bigger contingent gives us a chance of a medal because I believe all of our players who qualify will stand a (good) chance to win a medal," he said.