Her protege Sindhu may not have won the Gold at Olympics but she won the hearts of a billion Indians and so did her mentor and coach Pullela Gopichand. The shuttler has clinched Silver medal for India in the final badminton match at Rio Olympics. The credit for her success goes to none other than former Indian badminton player and her coach Pullela Gopichand.
Born in Nagandla (Andhra Pradesh), Gopichand has received fame for putting his hard work towards the rise of Indian badminton. No one can claim to have as much influence in Indian badminton or one sport across the spectrum as ‘Gopi’ does. And there’s good reason for him to have that influence.
Gopichand has won the All England Open Badminton Championships in 2001, becoming the second Indian to achieve this feat after Prakash Padukone.
He has also received Arjuna Award in 1999, the Dronacharya Award in 2009 and the Padma Bhushan – India's third highest civilian award – in 2014.
Currently, he works as the Chief National Coach for the Indian Badminton team and looks after the development of a number of India’s brightest shuttlers, Saina, Sindhu, Srikanth, Parupalli Kashyap.
On Friday, Sindhu will be facing the biggest challenge of her sporting career as she faces Carolina Marin of Spain in the Rio Olympics 2016 final.
How he trained PV Sindhu?
Soon after PV Sindhu went into finals after beating world number 6 Nozomi Okuhara, her coach Gopichand said the last few days were nerve-racking.
Behind every successful player, there is a brilliant coach. In Sindhu's journey to Olympics final, Gopichand has admitted about his sleepless night to see the moment.
"The last few days reminded me of my career. I wasn't able to sleep," Gopichand said, who also added that he did not smile for two months.
On Friday, Sindhu, who has assured India a silver medal, will go for a tough challenge and it will be interesting to see how Gopichand guides her to the gold medal.