'Medals the target for current bunch'

'Medals the target for current bunch'

National badminton coach Pullela Gopichand said that unlike in the past the current lot which has qualified for next month's Rio Games would strive hard to get a coveted medal.

"In my time 90 per cent of the people (sportspersons) would be busy collecting memorabilia (in Olympics). People now go out to compete and win a medal. That's the big change I see. Hats off to the new generation which shows that kind of spirit," said Gopichand here on Friday.

Gopi was speaking at the felicitation function organised by his employers, Indian Oil, for him and five others who have qualified for the Games - Inderjeet Singh (men's shot put), Kidambi Srikanth, Manu Attri (men's badminton), Manika Batra (women's table tennis) and Prarthana Thombare (tennis, women's doubles).

Five other Indian Oil employees who have made it to Rio - V R Raghunath, Kothajit Singh, S K Uthappa (men's hockey), Achanta Sharath Kamal (table tennis) and Rohan Bopanna (tennis) - could not be present at the function.

"We will give our best and God willing we will come back with medals. Around 120 sportspersons qualifying for the Olympics is an achievement in itself. I hope we come back with our head held high and by making our country proud," said the former All England men's singles champion.

He also praised the support the sportspersons have received from government agencies like the Sports Authority of India as well as the private corporate sector. He, however, was cautious about predicting medals in badminton.

"I would only say we have chance for multiple players (to win medals), but it's not going to be easy. Hopefully with our preparations having gone satisfactorily well we will produce some good results," he declared.

Seven Indian shuttlers, including 2012 London Games women's singles bronze medalist Saina Nehwal, will take part in the Rio Games.

DH Newsletter Privacy Policy Get top news in your inbox daily
Comments (+)