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Home > City Resources > Sports and Recreation > Gopi Chand

  Pullela Gopi Chand  

The reigning men's national badminton champion, Pullela Gopi Chand has become a more matured player over the years. He is one of the few players in the world who has a blend of aggressive stroke play and impressive footwork. This agile player is capable of defeating any player in the world. His game is electrifying to watch. He is only next to Prakash Padukone in terms of stardom.

Gopi in actionCurrently ranked 7 in the world, his performances in international tournaments are steadily improving and he continues to enthral badminton fans all over the country.

He bagged the first Nationals when he was just 17. His performance in the last eight years was finally recognised by the Indian Government when he was awarded the Arjuna Award on August 29, 2000. The award was a tribute to his hard work, commitment and discipline to the game.

His success can be attributed to his former coach Syed Mohammed Arif, who groomed the player in him. Gopi holds his former coach in great respect because it was Mohammed Arif who trained him to be the world-class player he is today.

Some of his landmark achievements:
Bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games
Won the Scottish International Open at Edinburgh
Sterling performances in Malaysian Open and Uber Cup


Can you tell me about your experience in the Olympic Games?
To participate in the Olympic Games was always my priority. Being prepared was the most important thing. It was tough. I gave my best.

You are termed an aggressive player?
Whether I am aggressive or not, it doesn't matter until I keep winning.

Your current ranking is 7. When can we expect you to be in the top 3?
I always had a dream to be in the top 15. Now, I'm there. And I haven't stopped dreaming!

Can you tell me about the badminton scenario in Andhra Pradesh?
We have produced many players and we will keep producing.

Have you got something to say about the drug tests conducted by the Olympics authorities?
It can happen to anyone. One has to be careful. The main reason being, the players are less informed about what they should eat and drink.

The Indian Petroleum Board has been instrumental in sponsoring several Indian sportspersons…..
I agree with you. They are doing a good job. Once you have more sponsors, more money and more coaches, naturally the game improves.

How helpful has your former coach Syed Mohammad Arif been in shaping your career and making you the person you are today?
He was very helpful. In Hyderabad, he has trained many good players. He is good.

How do you start your day?
I do yoga early in the morning and a bit of jogging. I practice during the day. I have a fixed practice timetable. I stick to it, wherever I go.

How soon do you get acclimatised when you visit foreign countries?
I get used soon. Over the years I've learned a few things and I have adjusted better.

Do you miss spicy Andhra food when you are out of the country?
I adjust to any type of food. I'm not fussy about it.

Your other interests…
I listen to music… any good music. When I get time, I watch a few Telugu movies. I like the comedy films, particularly.


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