high hopes

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 11 Feb 2019 12:42:32

p ullela Gopichand, India’s national badminton coach, has high hopes from his wards in the forthcoming Tokyo Olympic Games. He asserts that Indian badminton players would perform much better than previous two Olympic Games with better medal haul and even improvement in the colour of the medal, hinting at the possibility of some or the other player winning a gold medal in the mega world sporting extravaganza. While Saina Nehwal has begun the new season with a winning start, Gopichand expects P. V. Sindhu to shake off some loss of form in the past few months and be ready to face newer challenges in coming months. He is also optimistic that the men’s squad too would show better performance in the coming months and be ready for the Olympic challenge.


P. V. Sindhu must be eager to get her form back. Her loss of form is being attributed to the heavy workload she has been carrying all through the year with little rest. This means that international as well as domestic scheduling of tournaments have become heavily crowded, allowing very little space for rest to the players from their gruelling engagements all through the year. It is, therefore, not surprising that players like Saina Nehwal and P. V. Sindhu, being among the top players in the world, have to carry much of the burden. In such a situation burn-out of players is a natural occurrence. This happens with every sports person carrying heavy load of incessant competition at top level which is always exhausting and energy sapping.

This also points to the fact that there is lack of matching replacement of international standard which also indicates shortage of bench strength. Gopichand appears to be aware of this when he says that Indian badminton has failed to raise a decent second string and emphasises that domestic structure needs a big overhaul. His stress is on nurturing junior talent and as national coach he is conscious that a lot needs to be done at this level by way of structured programmes and long term planning to raise the standard of the game to international level.


When talk of structured development and planning comes up in respect of development of domestic sports, the example of rise of cricket as a premier game, that has mesmerised the entire population of the country, comes to mind. No doubt the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is blessed with huge funds which helps it to plan and execute various programmes, build infrastructure all over the country, appoint coaches and support staff, make all facilities for players, pay them handsomely. Such an enviable position is unfortunately not possible for other sports. In view of this support of corporate houses for promotion of other sports becomes critical.