Gopi concerned about cramped schedule

Gopi concerned about cramped schedule

The cramped scheduling of international badminton calendar was acknowledged on Tuesday by national coach Pullela Gopichand and felt the tournaments need to be spaced better.

According to the new tournament structure, coming into effect from 2018, top 15 players will need to play a minimum of 12 tournaments. If they fail to do so, they face a fine. The next year will be particularly hectic for the Indian players who have two additional events on their calendar  - Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games  - unlike their European counterparts. Gopichand said they need to come up with a way out.  

"It will be tough on the players because they will have to move from one tournament to another without having the time to train. The other coaches, too, have expressed their concern to BWF over the scheduling," Gopichand said during the launch of ELMS foundation, a non profit initiative for accelerating development of sports in the country. The foundation will be mentored by Olympic gold medallist shooter Abhinav Bindra and Gopichand.  

"If you see the calendar next year, it also has the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, the two events which are important to us. There are Thomas and Uber Cup, Badminton Asia Championships etc. Add to it the Senior National Championships, the PBL and a player will end up playing 18 to 19 tournaments in the year," Gopichand said.

"We have to figure out how to go about the scheduling. I will sit with the players take a call on which tournament to play and which one to leave. They also have to maintain their rankings to make the cut for direct qualification."

On Sindhu

Meanwhile, Gopichand   also said that he was not worried about Indian ace  PV Sindhu's defeats at the final hurdle in big events.  

"She had beaten the same player (Yamaguchi) in the league stage. It was a close final and it could have gone either ways.

"Yes people have started to compare this with the World Championships final but it's not the case. She has had big wins this year. I am very happy with the way she has played the whole year. She is only 22, she is a brilliant player, she will learn and comeback stronger.," Gopichand said.  

"In Dubai, she has won four matches and lost one (final). I have told her to focus on the four wins rather than one loss. You cannot start the year thinking about the misses."

Asked about the pressure on him to deliver, he said: "We understand we have raised the expectations of people and we need to continue improving. Every player needs to get better."

DH News Service

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