Pullela Gopichand wants young shuttlers to focus on the packed-year

Updated: 28 January 2014 22:14 IST

With as many as five big events in the year, Pullela Gopichand wants the rising stars of Indian badminton to focus.

Hyderabad:

Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand on Tuesday, said that young shuttlers would be focussed to do well in the major tournaments like Commonwealth Games and Asian Games scheduled to be held later this year.

"There are five big events. The All England, the Thomas Uber Cup, the World Championships, Commonwealth and Asian Games. I think in these five events, it is important that the players prepare well, focus well and push themselves to play well in the big events where it matters," Gopichand said.

Expressing happiness over Saina Nehwal winning the recent India Open, Gopichand said the star shuttler would do well in the year ahead.

"I think it is a good performance in Lucknow. We could not only win, the way she played, her fitness was good. I believe this is the first step for what is going to be a good year for Saina," he said.

Noting that young player K Srikanth should have won in the tournament, Gopichand expressed hope that the player would go on win important tournaments.

"I thought Srikanth should have won. He almost wrapped up the match. I think it is going to be a learning lesson for him. He played a phenomenal tournament. I do believe he has lot of talent and hopefully we will get him to win many more events this year," he said.

Gopichand, who has been selected for Padma Bhushan award recently, said he felt honoured for being chosen for the coveted prize.

"When I started or even a few years down the line, I never expected any of these things to come by. I take one step at a time and try to give my best shot. I have gone this far. I am just grateful for this journey. I am happy. I know how big is, I am so much more grateful and thankful to god and all those who supported me.

"Each and every time, I get an award I feel there is a need to be more grounded and focused and give more results for the expectations which the people and government would have," he said.

Topics : Badminton
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