Tag Archives: Pullela Gopichand

Gopchand’s children win titles

Gayatri.(Image Courtesy: indianexpress.com).

Gayatri.
(Image Courtesy: indianexpress.com).

HYDERABAD: On a day when three shuttlers achieved a grand double each at the ONGC National Sub-Junior Ranking Tournament, chief coach Pullela Gopichand’s children clinched national ranking titles for the first time in the same tournament.

Gayatri, the 12 year old, who won several national titles and also bronze at the Asian meet, won the girls under-15 singles and doubles titles while her little brother 10-year-old Sai Vishnu won in the under-13 doubles category.

Gayatri defeated her doubles partner Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka 21-15, 21-12 for the singles crown. Later the duo eased past Karnataka’s Ananya Praveen and Medha Shashidharan in straight games 21-10, 21-9.

Mansi Singh from Uttar Pradesh stayed on top by winning the girls singles and doubles titles in the under-13 category. Mansi recovered after losing the second game to get past second seed Tasnim Mir of Gujarat 21-10, 16-21, 21-16 and later paired up with Shiwangi Singh of Uttar Pradesh to beat third seeds Awantika Pandey and Anupama Upadhyaya of Uttarakhand 21-7, 21-18.

Top seeds Vishnu and Pranav Rao Gandham defeated Bharat and Anmol Joon of Haryana in straight games 21-19, 21-13 in the under-13 doubles final. Pranav, who is also the top seed in singles, defeated second seed Sankar Muthusamy of Tamil Nadu 21-16, 21-12 in just 25 minutes.

Maisnam Meiraba bagged the under-15 boys singles title. The top seed from Manipur made short work of seventh Jayant Rana of Haryana 21-17, 21-8. However, Meiraba and his partner from Andhra Pradesh Srikar Madina, who are seeded second in doubles, were shocked by fourth seeds Ishaan Bhatnagar of Chattisgarh and Priyanshu Rajawat of Madhya Pradesh 24-26, 18-21.

Results (All finals):
Girls singles (under-13):
1-Mansi Singh (UP) bt 2-Tasnim Mir (GUJ) 21-10, 16-21, 21-16.
Doubles:
1-Mansi Singh/Shiwangi Singh (UP) bt 3-Awantika Pandey/Anupama Upadhyaya (UTR) 21-7 21-18.
U-15 singles:
2-Gayatri Gopichand Pullela (TS) bt 1-Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka (TS) 21-15, 21-12.
Doubles:
1-Vaishnavi Reddy Jakka/Gayatri Gopichand Pullela (TS) bt 2-Ananya Praveen/Medha Shashidharan (KTK) 21-10, 21-9.
Boys singles (U-13):
1-Pranav Rao Gandham (TS) bt 2-Sankar Muthusamy (TN) 21-16, 21-12

With China Struggling, Saina, Sindhu Can Win At Rio: Boe’s Angle

NEW DELHI: Mathias Boe of Denmark, a silver-medallist at the London Olympics 2012 feels India’s Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu can clinch medals at the Rio Olympics this year as China’s dominance in world badminton, especially in women’s singles, seems to be ending.

Mathias Boe. (Image Courtesy: www.topnews.in).

Mathias Boe.
(Image Courtesy: www.topnews.in).

“If you look at the last few tournaments they are not as good as they used to be but may be they tried something different, I don’t know. We will know that better after the Olympics. If they can get all five gold medals we can’t say so. But it seems they are not as dominant now,” Boe, who is in India to play for Mumbai Rockets at the Premier Badminton League (PBL), said.

“Like in Ladies single, they always had the best in the top 4 in the world but now they have just one. In men’s singles they have Chen Long, he is the best, they have the best mixed and ladies doubles. However, I would say they have struggled a bit especially in ladies singles where they have always dominated. They seem a little old but let’s not rule them out because that would be a mistake,” he added.

Talking about India’s chances at the Olympics, Boe said: “I think Saina and Sindhu will have a chance. They are among the top-10 players of the world. Saina is in top-four, and both these girls have been at the highest level. So they can do that in Olympics. If they can handle pressure then definitely I don’t see why they can’t get a gold medal for India.”

“We have few big tournaments which is always fun to win. All England is one of the most prestigious tournaments apart from World Championship and Olympics. We have been fortunate to win it twice and to win it three times will be great as there are not many player to do so,” said Boe, who won the silver medal at the 2006 European Championships with Mogensen.

“Also there is Malaysia Open which we have never won, and India Open which we have won once but every time we go on court we want to win. So that is what we are aiming for,” added the left-handed shuttler, who helped Mumbai Rockets reach the finals by beating Awadhe Warriors 3-0 in the semifinals last night.

One half of the World No. 4 pair, Boe said they are looking forward to the opportunity of becoming the only doubles pair to win two Olympics medals at Rio Games.

“We know we can win Olympics. It is bigger than other events. Whoever can handle pressure best and if we can play our best it will be good enough. I am looking forward to the next few tournaments and qualify for Rio and have another shot at glory,” he said.

“Olympics come every four year. It is the biggest goal, biggest dream for any badminton player and we are no exception. We already have a silver at Olympics and if we can win another medal then we will be the only pair to have two medal and that will be remarkable,” he added.

Asked about his opinion on why India have not been able to produce quality doubles players, Boe said, “I think a lot of glory and what they have achieved is due to (Pullela) Gopichand’s work. He used to be a singles players and his expertise lies in singles.

“So when he started coaching he preferred to coach singles players and it is a normal development. He had to start somewhere and India have done well in singles and now you have some young doubles players doing well in u-19.

“It will come with time. You already have Manu and Sumeeth who won in Mexico, so India is on the right track. It takes years to develop quality doubles player,” he added.

Talking about his stint at the Premier Badminton League, Boe said: “It is more structure this year. Not as much as in Europe but overall another good experience. Last few days have been hectic with three days of illness and a lot of travelling. We just have to get things together and get ready for tomorrow.”

Boe hoped PBL will inspire youngsters to take up the game. “People who are watching us at court or TV, will inspire youngsters to take up the game. I hope with time it will generate good players. Lot of academies is building up. There are many opportunity for young shuttlers in India.”

Boe has already won the All England twice and said he aims to have another shot at glory at the prestigious event in Birmingham in March.

Lee Chong Wei Would Be Tough To Beat At Rio Olympics: Pullela Gopichand

P Gopichand.(Image Courtesy: indianexpress.com).

P Gopichand.
(Image Courtesy: indianexpress.com).

DELHI: Indian badminton team’s chief coach Pullela Gopichand is very impressed in the manner former world No 1 Lee Chong Wei has comeback after serving a doping ban and dubbed him as one of the toughest contenders for gold medal in this year’s Rio Olympics.

The 33-year-old star shuttler was handed out an eight-month ban in April last year for a doping violation after traces of a banned substance were found in his system.

However, he made a brilliant comeback into the international circuit with victories at the US Open, Canada Open, French Open, China Open and a silver at World Championships.

“He has been an amazing sportsperson. He has the highest quality fitness, concentration and a great ambassador of the sports. It’s unfortunate whatever happened to him but that created a window, wherein a few other players benefitted. He has always been strong. He had his problems against a few top players in the world (from China) but other than that, he has ruled the world badminton in the last few years,” Gopichand said.

“He will be someone who will be really difficult to beat because of his pure speed and sting in his strokes that makes him very very effective.”

“I have a great lot of respect for someone like Cheng Long. He is a fantastic individual, with whatever he has he maximizes it. He goes back and comes back very strongly in terms of his physical and mental preparations. So I wouldn’t rule out somebody like Cheng Long ever,” he said.

“Lin Dan is the big match player and Lee Chong Wei has always tripped at the last hurdle. So I think they have the experience and grit on their side and Lee has the desire to win the big match. All three make it difficult for other players. Both Cheng Long and Lin Dan are the players to beat and they are not going to give it easy to him.

“Conditions and preparations make a lot of difference. I think a fully fit and focused Lee is a handful to everybody. It is not going to be easy unless you are prepared to beat him because he has got that consistency where you really need to break him.”

Kidambi Srikanth.(Image Courtesy: httpwww.indiansportsnews.com).

Kidambi Srikanth.
(Image Courtesy: httpwww.indiansportsnews.com).

“I think it was a great match. Srikanth was fired up and aggressive but I think it is important that he has to be consistent. In the life of a sports person, I think a win is not the end of it or a loss is the end of it. So I think he just needs to get this head down and fight,” Gopichand said.

“I think the pressure here is far more because of the format, as there are a lot of people who are passionate, the coach, the owners and the money which is paid. So it makes it a lot of pressure and it is helpful to players,” he added.

India is likely to field its biggest ever badminton contingent at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and Gopichand said his wards will look at each tournament from now on as a preparation for the Games.

“I think it is a little premature to talk about Olympics at this point because the Olympic qualification is still on. There are quite a few big events and each player will go about preparing for those in a way as if that is the Olympics. Whether it is India Super Series, Asian Championship, All England. So they will really go after these tournaments.
“I have to ensure that they have the best progression for the Olympics,” he said.

Saina. (Image Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com).

Saina.
(Image Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com).

The Chinese women players lost their dominance in world badminton in the last one year as Spain’s Carolina Marin and India’s Saina Nehwal achieved the World No. 1 and 2. Gopichand said the Chinese will find it difficult to regain that dominance as many players with varied styles have become more stronger.

“Whatever the Chinese have done have not worked and a lot of players have figured them out. So they have not been able to get a comprehensive strategy for everybody. Earlier, they used to win on fitness but now others have also become fitter and stronger.

“It won’t be easy to crack them because they are very diverse, one is from Japan, one from India, one from Spain so there are different styles. So they will find it difficult,” he said.

Asked if players are finding it difficult to match Carolina Marin’s speed, Gopichand said: “It is not difficult to match. I think when a player is winning, it feels like it is difficult to match. I think adaptability is the key. Our players also have the speed and it is about how they negate the speed. She for the moment seems good but we have also seen that she can be vulnerable,” Gopi signed off.

Gopi also praised veteran Dan and reminded how Lee always lost big finals to the champion Chinese.

We Can Evaluate Ourselves Before Rio Games: Gopichand

PBL. (Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

PBL.
(Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

MUMBAI: National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand said on Wednesday there were a few tournaments that would self evaluate and help in the self analysis for the Indian players before the start of Rio olympics.

Pullela Gopichand.(Image Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com).

Pullela Gopichand.
(Image Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com).

“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), The Syed Modi International 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 on Wednesday.

The cut-off date for qualifying for the Rio Games Badminton is the first week of May, 2016.

When asked about the chances of winning more medails from the Indian side,
“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 chance to win a medal,” he said.

India Can Win Medals In Badminton In Rio: Kanetkar

Nikhil kanetkar. (Image Courtesy: www.tedxvitpune.com).

Nikhil kanetkar.
(Image Courtesy: www.tedxvitpune.com).

JAMSHEDPUR: Former shuttler Nikhil Kanetkar on Monday expressed confidence that India have bright chances to grab medals in badminton in the Rio Olympics 2016.

“India has good chance to win medals particularly in the women’s singles and from women’s pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnapa, who have won the bronze medal in the world championship,” said former India No.1 Kanetkar, who was here to coach 30 shuttlers from Jharkhand and West Bengal at Mohan Ahuja Indoor stadium.

“Saina and Sindhu are performing well at the international arena and have very good chances to win medals for the country in singles event in the Olympics,” he said adding, in the men’s section, top rank players like K Srikant were not consistent but, have chances to add up in the medal tally.

“Parupally Kashyap and Ajay Jayaram are other players in the men’s section from whom we can expect a good show. We can also expect medal in the women’s double as Jwala and Ashwini were doing very well,” Kanetkar said.

“As far as our preparation for the Olympics is concerned, coach Pullela Gopichand is doing an excellent job, but our players need to adopt to the conditions to remain in the contest,” he said.

Kanetkar appreciated the “East Singhbhum district Badminton Association” for conducting the three-day coaching camp, Kanetkar said the camp would benefit budding shuttlers of the Eastern region, which has plenty of talent.

On reasons behind Eastern region lagging behind in producing international repute players, Kanetkar said the region needed a good academy with proper infrastructure to promote badminton.

Kanetkar added the academies needed support from respective governments, federations and others to achieve desirable results.

Hope We Field Our Biggest Ever Squad At Rio Olympics: Gopichand

Pullela Gopichand.(Image Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com).

Pullela Gopichand.
(Image Courtesy: timesofindia.indiatimes.com).

NEW DELHI: India’s Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand is confident of fielding India’s biggest-ever badminton contingent at the Games.

“Looks like we will have our biggest ever contingent at the Olympics this time and if things go well we will have an entry in every event. Of course, there are important events including India Open Grand Prix Super Series and All England Championships in the lead up and we will know exactly where we stand. All our players have been guilty of not being consistent this year. I hope we are able to address that problem,” Gopichand said here on Wednesday.

The qualification process ends on May 5 and all players ranked among top 16 will get direct quota in the singles. K Srikanth (world No. 9) and P Kashyap (world No. 15) in the men’s singles and Saina Nehwal (world No. 2) and P.V. Sindhu (world No. 12) are eligible for direct qualification as of now. The Indian contingent will have tournaments like the Thomas and Uber Cup and Asian Team Championship in February to improve their rankings.

Gopichand also quoted, “Objectively everyone wants to get clear answers (on Rio Games)… unfortunately I won’t be able to say. But we can look for a better performance. There is still some time left between April end and now. I hope to have the strongest team at Rio.”

“Kashyap has recovered and has started training. He should be ready for PBL. For Srikanth, the end of the year seemed a lot better in the sense that at least the Indonesian Open gave us glimpses of where he could be. He’s a young player and had big victories early on. It’s time for him to adapt, get new strokes,” Gopichand said.

With the rankings in hand, India for the first time will have two men’s singles players, Srikanth and Kashyap for the men singles event.

PBL will witness Exciting Doubles Battle: Ashwini Ponnappa

PBL. (Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

PBL.
(Image Courtesy: sportzwiki.com).

BENGALURU: Top women’s doubles shuttler Ashwini Ponappa predicted an exciting battle of doubles matches in the second edition of the badminton league.

“This year’s PBL (Premier Badminton League) will witness very competitive, strong and exciting doubles matches because all the six teams are having competent doubles players,” Ponappa told reporters at the launch of Bengaluru Top Guns, led by Kidambi Srikanth here.

“There are many good doubles players from Europe and Asia, because these countries treat their doubles players on par with the singles players. Their focus is more on doubles event than on singles, and a lot of training goes into it,” she said.

“I learnt a lot from Fisher, who comes from a country where it boasts of four top doubles players in doubles and mixed doubles categories. I have learnt a lot when I partnered him in last IBL. He is somebody who is willing to share and help other players,” she said when pointing to last year IBL when she partnered Ficsher in her mixed doubles match.

Even national chief coach Pullela Gopichand said, “Some of the best matches we will see, irrespective of which team plays which, I think mixed doubles will be really delightful to watch. Each one is star, and in all of these teams we have top players who played in the top ten consistently or Olympic medalists who are part of this event,” he said.

Sameer Wins Over Sourab At The TATA Open 2015 Men’s Finals

TATA Open 2015

MUMBAI: In the absence of top seeds B. Sai Praneeth and RMV Gurusaidutt, Sameer had to bear the pressure of leading the Indian challenge in the TATA Open International tournament here on Sunday.

Sameer Verma

Sourab Verma.
(Image Courtesy: www.thehindu.com).

Sameer Verma beat his elder brother Sourabh, to clinch the 2015 Tata Open International Challenge here at the CCI courts on Sunday.

This was Sameer’s third title year after winning back to nack titles in Bahrain last month and is likely to help him rise seven spots to 45th on the BWF rankings. The third seed took just 26 minutes to outsmart Sourabh 21-11, 21-18 in the men’s singles final to level their head-to-head record at 4-4.

“I am happy to have finally got a title after coming close on a couple of occasions. Even though I was the favourite coming into the final, it was difficult to play against my brother. That’s why I didn’t celebrate whenever I was winning a point. We might be brothers, but on the court we both are very competitive. I am pretty satisfied to have come out on top against him,” an excited Sameer told TOI.

Sameer Verma..(www.ahmedabadmirror.com).

Sameer Verma.
.(Image Courtesy: www.ahmedabadmirror.com).

“Malaysia’s Joo ven Soong (who retired in the semifinal after trailing 21-11, 15-9) was the toughest opponent I played here, but he had some injury which got aggravated during the match and he retired. So I was expecting to win the event as the top guys were not playing,” said the current World No. 52 after pocketing the winner’s cheque of $1121 (Rs 75,000).

Both, Sameer and Sourab will participate in the 2016 Malaysian Grand Prix and the 2016 Syed Modi International at Lucknow in January.

Sameer Verma lost to B. Sai Praneeth lst week in the 2015 Bangladesh Open finals.

Sameer trains under national coach Pullela Gopichand.

Sindhu Hits A Hat-Trick In 2015 Macau Open

Macau Open

Sindhu. (Image Courtesy: www.indiontv.com).

Sindhu.
(Image Courtesy: www.indiontv.com).

HYDERABAD: P.V. Sindhu, in the absence of Saina extended her unbeaten reign in Macau and achieved a rare hat-trick at the $120,000 Grand Prix Gold tournament with a convincing 21-19, 21-23, 21-14 victory against Minatsu Mitani of Japan in the final on Sunday.

A pleased Sindhu told TOI after the win, “I am really very, very excited. This title came as a big relief. It was my third straight title and somehow I am fond of this place.”

Sindhu started on good note in the first game, even before Mitani got a feel of the conditions, Sindhu finished off the first game at 21-9.

In the second game, Sindhu too did not show any urgency and played a flawlwss game by keeping the shuttle in the court. The Indian could have finished the match in the second game itself. But at 21-20, Sindhu hit the bird twice into the net and her racquet strings also got snapped.

In the decider, Sindhu raced to a 9-3 lead and never looked back.

Mitani had defeated both Sindhu and Saina at the Japan Open in the first two rounds.

“She is playing very well now. I am happy with the way she managed some of the difficult returns. It is a very good win for her,” said Pullela Gopichand, adding that he was impressed with the way she remained patient on the court.” Staying calm and patient are some of the areas we are working on with her. The way she fought back after the second game’s loss and the manner she controlled the contest will help her in the long run,” Gopi said.

“I am happy to have regained full fitness. I have no issues now,” Sindhu said, adding that her best performance this year was reaching the final of the Denmark Superseries Premier.

“Though I won my third title here, my best performance this year was at Denmark. I beat double world champion Carolina Marin, Wang Yihan and Tai Tzu Ying before losing in the final to Li Xuerui. I could have won the title but I was happy as that was the first tournament I played with full fitness,” Sindhu, who had beaten Xuerui at the Worlds in August, said.

29th Sub-Junior National Badminton Tournament 2015 Starts in Vizag

Opening Cermony file photo.

Opening Cermony file photo.
(Image Courtesy: www.kittu.com).

VISHAKAPATNAM: The 29th sub-junior national badminton championship 2015 commenced at Swarnanharati indoor stadium here today.

“Players from 28 states and seven Union Territories and 500 shuttlers are taking part in the five-day tournament,” said Badminton Association of India Secretary Ch Punnaiah Choudary.

He said the venues for the U-13 and U-15 boys and girls’ matches will be the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation’s Swarnabharati indoor stadium and Port indoor stadium.

The event was inaugurated by Andhra Pradesh HRD Minister Ganta Srinivasa Rao.

“The government recently announced the Sports Policy in which it had announced several welfare schemes for the sportspersons and also reward and prize for them,” the minister said.

Rao said that government’s aim was to convert the state into a sports hub by providing best infrastructure.

“Visakhaptnam will become a sports centre in AP as the city is having the best infrastructure for sports in form of indoor and outdoor stadia and also an international cricket stadium,” he said, adding that government has decided to construct a sports stadium on the lines of Gachibowli in Hyderabad and a sports complex with the help of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.

Rao said former international badminton player Pullela Gopichand also willing and expecting to build a badminton academy in the city.