Coach Pullela Gopichand is happiest as his student P.V. Sindhu won Silver medal at Rio Olympics. Much like her fellow trainees at the Gopichand Academy, the national chief coach is a father figure to Sindhu.
Sindhu, at nine, was the youngest when Gopichand started off his academy in 2004. Twelve years have passed and little has changed between the two be it her training schedules or adhering to the coach’s words.
“I start my mornings training Sindhu. And the best thing about her is that in these last 12 years, she never bargained. If her ask her to come for training at 4.15, she will never ask why so early?,” said Gopichand here on Tuesday.
“So, her silver is emotionally attached to me. We have enjoyed working hard together all these days for the Olympics. And now its time to celebrate,” added the 42-year-old, who admitted that he relived his playing days as Sindhu made it to the Rio 2016 final.
Asked what was next at the Olympics after Saina Nehwal’s London bronze medal and now Sindhu’s silver, Gopichand said: “I only planned thus far, I didn’t plan after this. I don’t know. The entire focus was on the Olympics. I hope India have many more stars in time to come.”
“There is no motivation. I just see potential and set a target,” said Gopi when asked about the driving force behind producing Olympians on a regular basis now.
Gopichand, who also trained Saina before she moved out to Bengaluru, refused to compare his proteges.
“Both are fantastic players. Sindhu has a great work ethic, while Saina is aggressive and has great fighting spirit. They are completely different but good in their own ways,” he pointed out.
Also Read: Wrestler Sakshi Malik to Get Married This Year
BY M.DIVYA SRI