Gopi Chand: ‘No alternative’ to adjusting to busy playing schedule

The badminton coach has acknowledged the “complex” scheduling problem faced by Indian shuttlers.

P. Gopi Chand...“We have to adjust.”   -  PTI

India’s badminton coach Pullela Gopi Chand on Tuesday acknowledged the “complex” scheduling problem faced by Indian shuttlers but admitted there was no alternative in sight to deal with it. The debate on scheduling kicked off after former shuttler Prakash Padukone observed the Indian players were “definitely playing more tournaments than required.”

Gopi Chand said there was a need to “space the tournaments well.” “Scheduling affects the entire world, not just India. But the fact that we have the Commonwealth Games (CWG) and Asian Games, which are important, makes it a lot more complex for India,” Gopi Chand told reporters on the sidelines of the launch of a sports foundation here.

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“European countries are not playing in the CWG or the Asian Games. But there is no alternative (for us), we have to adjust. You keep training during travelling,” he said.

Plan needed

Asked if India should consider sending a second-string team for CWG to give the top players a break, Gopi Chand replied in the negative. “I think CWG is an important event and we should send our top players. We can’t do without CWG medals. By the next season, we will have a plan. I will sit with the players and the officials and we will decide a plan. So basically players will get enough time to rest, the maximum permissible,” he said.

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Gopi Chand praised P. V. Sindhu for her regular run to tournament finals this year. “She is young, she has got some great wins and she will get more in the future. I am not really worried [with her faltering in the finals], I am happy with her performance. She is a brilliant player. She is only 22, I am very confident about her. As a player, you need to keep growing and as a coach you need to stay positive. She has worked very hard,” he said.