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‘Indian badminton owes its success to Gopichand’

London Olympics quarterfinalist shuttler Parupalli Kashyap has defended national coach Pullela Gopichand, who was rapped by the Bombay high court for running a private academy, saying that Indian badminton owes its success to Gopichand.

‘The badminton scene has changed in India only because of Gopichand. Now there is a proper structure, which was missing in the last 10 years. Gopichand has used his experience to bring about the change,’ Kashyap said.

‘Before he took charge there was no proper planning, no physios or masseurs. I don’t want to take away the credit from the national body but Gopichand has put a system in place,’ Kashyap said.

 The Bombay high court earlier this month had pulled up Gopichand for running a private academy in Hyderabad. The court ruled it was ‘ethically’ wrong for him to run a training academy while he was the national coach and in a position to influence team selection.

 This was in response to a petition filed by Mumbai player Prajakta Sawant in November. Prajakta had alleged mental harassment after not being allowed to participate in the national camp.

India’s top doubles specialist Jwala Gutta had also criticised Gopichand and has backed Prajakta. Kashyap feels the allegations against the national coach are wrong.

‘I am very upset and it is very sickening. Gopichand has put in so much effort behind the players and this is sad to see,’ he said.


KASHYAP REACHES CAREER BEST RANKING


Ace shuttler Parupalli Kashyap, who won the men’s single title at the Syed Modi International India GP Gold on Sunday, jumped six places to reach his career-best ranking of 14th in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) rankings released on Thursday. P.V. Sindhu, who lost in the women’s singles final of the Syed Modi tournament, also reached her career-best ranking of 19, jumping five places.
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