Sports

Tokyo Olympics 2021: PV Sindhu and doubles duo of Chirag-Satwik are strong medal contenders, says Pullela Gopichand

National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand is not directly involved with the shuttlers who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics. All four Tokyo-bound players have their own coaches and teams.

National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand

National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand (Courtesy: AFP)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Four Indian shuttlers have qualified for the Olympics
  • All four shuttlers have good chance of doing well in Tokyo, says Gopichand
  • PV Sindhu is training with South Korean coach Park Tae Sang

Pullela Gopichand, the national badminton coach, is confident that all four badminton players have a very good chance of winning the medals at the Tokyo Olympics.

Rio Olympic silver medalist PV Sindhu, B Sai Praneeth, and the men’s doubles duo of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy have earned berths for the Olympics, which is scheduled to begin from July 23.

Gopichand, speaking to Sports Today, said: “No doubt Sindhu is a great prospect. The doubles pair of Satvik and Chirag has a clear chance of winning the medal. I think Sai Praneeth also has a bright chance.”

Interestingly, Pullela Gopichand is not directly involved with the shuttlers who have qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.

Sindhu is working with South Korean coach Park Tae Sang at the Gachibowli Stadium. Praneeth is under the watchful eyes of Indonesian Agus Dwi Santoso and Satwik and Chirag sweating it out with Denmark’s Mathias Boe.

“We are able to provide individual coaches to all the athletes, which is a great achievement. They have their own set of personal trainers and physios. This is the support which has always been lacking in Indian sport. From 2016 to 2020, it has been achieved. I hope a similar setup will be done for the youngsters in the near future,” said Gopichand.

On India’s chances of medals, the national badminton coach said that the Indian contingent would definitely surpass the London Olympics mark in Tokyo. India has won six medals at the London Olympics.

“We have strong chances in shooting, badminton, wrestling, boxing. We definitely have a chance to win more medals this time around. In the first two and three days, if we win a few medals, it will boost the morale of the entire contingent.

“We are going to cross the London Olympics mark. We will win more than six medals for sure,” said Gopichand.

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