Consistency is the key, says Gopi

“I feel having won many Super Series titles, the likes of Saina, Sindhu in women’s singles and Srikanth and Prannoy in the men’s singles should be good enough to pull off special performances in the Asian Games,” says Gopi Chand.

Confident: “The Indians have every chance of bettering the previous performances in the Asian Games,” says P. Gopi Chand.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

For someone who has seen — as a player and then as the chief national coach — the evolution of Indian badminton into a super power, Pullela Gopi Chand believes that the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games will be as tough as any Olympics or a World Championship given the fact that the cream of world badminton (mostly from Asia) will be there.

“But at the same time I also feel that this can be the edition where the Indians have every chance of bettering the previous performances in Asian Games (only Syed Modi had won a bronze in individual events ( in 1982) and the Indian team two bronze medals, the second one coming in the last edition) in singles specifically. Even in the team event it cannot be ruled out,” Gopi says.

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“I feel having won many Super Series titles, the likes of Saina, Sindhu in women’s singles and Srikanth and Prannoy in the men’s singles should be good enough to pull off special performances in the Asian Games,” he says.

“Given the option I would have loved to have a two-week preparatory camp for the Asian Games. But there is not much gap between the Worlds and the Asian Games,” he adds.

“I only hope that the players are physically fit, injury-free and mentally tough to face the kind of challenges expected in the Asian Games,” the former All England champion says.

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“There will be pressure on the players and the coaches for sure for any big event and Asian Games is no different. But, again, we all know how to handle these things,” he says.

“Well, at this level, the draw doesn’t matter as one has to always be at his best consistently right through any championship and never relax since reputations don’t matter at all. On a given day, even a qualifier can knock out the best,” cautions Gopi.