Gopichand pins faith on new bunch of youngsters

April 28th, 2011 - 8:59 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, April 28 (IANS) National coach and former All England badminton champion Pullela Gopichand is not putting too much by the shocking first round exit of Saina Nehwal from the India Open Super Series and brushed it away as a one-off bad day. Instead, he is drawing positives from the performance of the young brigade at the tournament.

Saina crashed out in the first round Wednesday while women’s doubles favourite Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa lost in the second Thursday at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.

As for Saina, Gopichand says she is mentally strong enough to bounce back from such situations.

He said that Saina’s ankle injury is not why she lost the match.

“Yes she has been nursing this ankle injury since December. But it is all right now. It see it as just one bad day,” said Gopichand.

Gopichand said though he was disappointed that senior players could not perform well at home, the positive is a bunch of young brigade who have shown the stomach to fight.

“The senior players will have to do well to make the cut for the London Olympics.”

“The positive from this tournament is the new crop of players. Now there are 5-6 players who I think will need more international exposure as they have proved their talent here.”

Sourabh Verma and Guru Sai Datt reached the quarterfinal with some stunning victories.

Apart from the two, Gopichand also praised PV Sindhu who gave a tough fight to seasoned Salakjit Ponsana of Thailand before going down 19-21, 20-22 and Arundhati Pantawane, who beat the fourth seeded Ying Suet Tse of Hong Kong in the first round of qualifiers but lost in the next round.

“Sindhu is just 15 and for her to give such a tough competition to Salakjit shows her talented. These bunch of players have shown a big heart and that they belong to this stage. There is also Sai Praneeth and H.S Prannoy who are talented.”

“I will ask the government to allow them to participate in more international tournaments so that they can get the exposure,” he said.

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