Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pullela Gopichand

Pullela Gopichand is India's former legendary badminton player, and now a reputed coach who runs the Gopichand badminton academy at Hyderabad in India.

Pullela Gopichand Profile:

Date of Birth: 16-Nov-1973
Birth-place: Andhra Pradesh, India.
Highest ranking achieved: World no.5 (as on 15-Mar-2001)

Pullela Gopichand - Badminton career:

Young Gopi's talent in badminton was recognized at the early age of 10 whilst he was still studying at St. Paul's school, and competing at inter-school events, and at the Andhra Pradesh state junior events.

He was coached by reputed coach S.M. Arif in his early years, before he got a chance to train at the BPL Prakash Padukone badminton academy at Bangalore. Gopichand was also trained at SAI centre in Bangalore by another reputed coach Ganguly Prasad.

Gopichand won the National Badminton championship title for the first time in the year 1996, and then won it 5 times on the trot till the year 2000.

His game then continued to flourish and he made his mark on the international badminton circuit and he went on to win the All-England Open and achieving a career-best ranking of world no.5 in the year 2001.

P Gopichand - Significant achievements:

Pullela Gopichand won the All-England Open Badminton Championships in the year 2001, defeating Chen Hong of China in the finals by a score of 15-12, 15-6. En-route to the finals he defeated several players who were ranked higher than him. In the semi-finals he had defeated the then world no.1 player Peter Gade of Denmark in 2 sets.

Prakash Padukone has been the only Indian to have ever won the All-England title in 1980, before Pullela Gopichand followed in his footsteps to repeat the feat in 2001.

In the year 1999, Gopichand won the Toulouse French Open, the Scottish Open badminton championship titles, and the Asian Satellite tournament the same year.

Before that in 1996 and 1997, Gopichand had won gold medals at the SAARC badminton tournaments.
Equally significant if not more, are Gopichand's terrific achievements as a badminton coach. He runs the Gopichand badminton academy at Guntur, near Hyderabad, and his most famous ward is Saina Nehwal who is currently ranked in the top 5 women's singles players in the world. Not only Saina, there are many other Gopichand academy students performing very well on the international badminton circuits now, such as Arundhati Pantawane, PV Sindhu and RMV Guru Sai Dutt.

Pullela Gopichand - Awards:

Gopichand was awarded with the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in the year 2001 when he won the All-England Open title. The Khel Ratna (meaning: sporting jewel) is India's highest award for excellence in the field of sports and is handed over by the President of India.

Gopichand had been earlier been awarded the Arjuna award for sporting excellence in the year 1999.
Later in the year 2005, Gopichand was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri award.

In the year 2009, Gopichand was felicitated with the Dronacharya award for his excellent work as a badminton coach, and at the same ceremony his most famous student Saina Nehwal was also bestowed with the Arjuna award for her badminton achievements.

1 comment:

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