The two time Olympian, Aparna Popat expressed her contentment for Pullela Gopichand for his contributions towards development of badminton in past years.
“I have no words to describe what he has done for Indian badminton. His contribution was immense. Take out Gopichand, Indian badminton could have been where it was 15 years ago,” said the nine time national championships winner. Aparna arrived at hyderabad as the mentor for Badminton Development Programme of GoSports Foundation.
She is satisfied with the current state of facilities and mentorship provided to badminton players of today.” My achievements could have been different if I got access to these kind of facilities and mentorship”, said the former world number 10.
She also showered compliments for Saina Nehwal and said that Saina’s consistency and achievements have played a major role in popularizing the sport. “If a player can hang on to the top five of the world ranking for five years, that’s incredible. Saina has been doing that and that’s a great feat. If you are not consistent people will just forget you”, she said. ” The best aspect I like about Saina is her grit”.
Aparna is however concerned about P.V Sindhu achieving tremendous success at a young age of 19. “There are no dominant players in women’s badminton now. The Chinese are not consistent and getting injured regularly. According to me players like Saina, Sindhu, Ratchanok Intanon, Carolina Marin and Tai Tzu Ying along with Li Xuerui can share the honors. When we were playing most of the times four Chinese used to reach the semifinals. Now that has changed and Indians should make the best of this,” Aparna said.