Pullela Gopichand is a name synonymous with the success story of Indian badminton. The 2001 All England champion spoke to Outlook on India’s chances at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics as well as the problems facing the sport. Excerpts:
Less than a year to go, can you access India’s chances in the Tokyo Games.
Sindhu and Saina are our best bets in women’s singles. Both should qualify easily. In men’s singles, we will have to wait and see how things go. India haven’t had a great year so far but Kidambi Srikkanth is capable of producing good results. In men’s doubles, the team of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty (they stunned world champions Li Jun Hui and Liu Yu Chen 21-19, 18-21, 21-18 in Thailand) will shape up well and gives India an outside chance of a medal. First, we must try and get as many berths as possible for Tokyo. Once there, anything can happen.
As head national coach, how do you plan the training and programming?
Unfortunately in India, we...