Gopi mulls implementing Japan’s multiple-team system in India

Chief Coach P. Gopi Chand also felt India’s chances in badminton team events were tough.

Pullela Gopi Chand: "Ours is a big country and I think, looking at the future, we should start putting up such a (multiple) system in place."   -  V.V. Subramanyam

While the Indians may be sweating over the threat posed by Japan's Kento Momota, Chief Coach P. Gopi Chand felt India could pick up some very crucial lessons from its opponent.

Like Gopi, who has turned things around for Indian badminton - the team has won Olympic and World medals - South Korean Park Joo-bong, a former Olympic doubles champion and Japan’s head coach, has transformed the sport there.

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“The whole system in Japan revolves around Park,” Gopi told Sportstar on Saturday. “His men’s singles players are great, mixed doubles teams are great…they have an entire first string, second string. There is a lot of co-ordinated effort and they have the brains of somebody like Park.”

The multiple teams system is something that Gopi could mull implementing in India.

“I think they have multiple teams. They have a 50-member ‘A’ squad, a 50-member ‘B’ squad - all travelling to different tournaments, 30 or 40 players travelling at a time,” said Gopi.

“They have physios, masseurs and other officials not only attached to the top team but also with their A, B and C teams. We can surely do something like that. Ours is a big country and I think, looking at the future, we should start putting up such a system in place.”

Gopi felt India’s chances in badminton team events, which begin on Sunday, were tough.

“It’s a tough draw. Every match looks tough, there is the World’s one or two here and there. But we will be trying hard,” he said.