New Delhi, Jan 3 (IANS) India’s national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, who has produced two Olympic medallists — Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu, expressed that his team is hoping for better performances with some good preparations before the quadrennial event.
“We have had some good performances in the last couple of Olympics. This time we will go into the Olympics with a world champion in our team and hopefully, with some good preparations, we can come back with better performances than what we have had in the previous Games,” said Gopichand.
India’s badminton coach lauded the Khelo India programme, saying that it portrays a positive picture for sport. Gopichand expressed that the Khelo India Youth Games provide great exposure to the young athletes of India.
“An event like Khelo India Youth Games which has all sports together gives a great exposure to athletes. It’s something I am very happy about. And in general, the Khelo India programme, whether it’s the scholarships or the accredited academies, helps in portraying a positive picture for sport,” said Gopichand.
The 46-year-old added that the Khelo India Youth Games is a unique competition from an overall sporting culture perspective. The third edition of the competition will be held from January 10 to 22 in Guwahati.
“I’ve been very lucky to watch the Delhi and Pune (Khelo India) Games. From a Khelo India Games perspective, I think what the Government of India is doing is very impressive. It’s very nice for young athletes to get a chance to perform under top international conditions. This experience will definitely help the youth in a big way. From an overall sporting culture perspective, I think this is unique,” said the national badminton coach.
Gopichand explained the attributes which his team looks at while spotting talent for the future.
“Badminton is a sport which is very physical, but also very skill-based. For us, mental attitude and physical attributes play a very important role. When we look at young players, we look at their potential to play at the highest level coupled with the mental strength which is very important to perform at the highest level,” said Gopichand.