Olympic silver-medallist PV Sindhu will take Indian badminton "through" for at least the next four years, feels chief national coach Pullela Gopichand, who foresees a strong bench-strength emerging at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games
Pullela Gopichand and PV Sindhu
New Delhi: Olympic silver-medallist PV Sindhu will take Indian badminton "through" for at least the next four years, feels chief national coach Pullela Gopichand, who foresees a strong bench-strength emerging at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Gopichand, who shaped Sindhu and Olympic bronze-medallist Saina Nehwal among others, believes it will take some time for the next big star to emerge. "Sindhu is just 21 and I think she will take us through for the next few years and by the time she is 25, we will figure something. I don’t want to pick a junior name right now, but I can assure you that four years from now we will have solid bench strength in women’s singles," Gopichand told PTI.
Sindhu celebrates after India Open Superseries win. Pic/AFP
"It will take a little time, we have prospects like Ruthvika and Rituparna, who also have the potential of doing well. I think it is not easy to produce players back to back."
Asked about the doubles players, Gopichand said: "I think we can say that Pranaav and Sikki have done well and Chirag and Satwik are also there."
Indian shuttlers have been plagued by a series of injuries and Gopichand admitted things got a bit messed up last year due to the Olympic qualification. "One can’t predict injuries but last year we messed it up a little bit in terms of the number of tournaments ahead of the Olympic qualification. A couple of them played more tournaments because of the Rio Games. But this season it would be better. I don’t think injuries are a cause of concern. It is a learning curve. Each of them is learning about themselves. Mulyo Handoyo, best known for coaching Taufik Hidayat, is also working on the players, he has been with us for two months," he said.