India's veteran star shuttler and active coach, Pullela Gopichand, is not only known to be a mentor to current champions -- PV Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth and the likes -- but was also last to claim All England Championship for India (after Prakash Padukone). Gopichand is now hopeful that one of his three prodigal talents (Srikanth, Saina and Sindhu) will end the 18-year-old title drought at the event this year.
Gopichand, ahead of the All-England Championship, said, “I hope that we have one of our players win the All-England tournament this time around. We have had good performances by Saina (Nehwal), (P V)Sindhu and (Kidambi) Srikanth has also been in good form. I do expect that we will have a good performance in this year’s All-England.
Going in Saina has just won the Indonesian open and Sindhu has also done well. So, I think both of them can do well at the All England as well. Hopefully we will have some good performances from our players. It is almost 18 years now and I hope that this year we can break the jinx.”
Gopichand had clinched the All England Championship in 2001. It was an achievement which came more than two decades after senior Padukone became the first Indian to achieve the feat in 1980.
Srikanth, who had clinched four titles in 2017, endured a title-less season last year and Gopichand backed him to do well this year. “Srikanth has played well. He is somebody whom I expect will do well in the year,” he concluded.
The All-England Championship is commence in a month, from March 6 and conclude by March 10.
About the Author
Aditya Sahay, a former cricket reporter/writer and statistician, has shifted gears to other sports (primarily badminton, tennis, kabaddi, hockey, golf etc). While cricket remains his first love, he enjoys covering and writing on kabaddi, hockey and tennis. He dons Germanys jersey during FIFA and believes Dhoni Dhoni hai, isko (aur) mauka mila toh bahut aage jayega