Praneeth's Worlds medal feat phenomenal, says Gopi Chand

India’s chief national coach, P. Gopi Chand, says that Sai Praneeth’s bronze medal in the on-going World championship in Basel (Switzerland) on Saturday is a phenomenal feat considering that it has come in men’s section after close to four decades.

"I am glad that Praneeth has proved a point or two to the critics with this terrific performance." Gopi Chand said.   -  reuters

India’s chief national coach, P. Gopi Chand, says that Sai Praneeth’s bronze medal in the on-going World championship in Basel (Switzerland) on Saturday is a phenomenal feat considering that it has come in men’s section after close to four decades.

“Yes, given the disappointments in recent times in men’s section, Praneeth’s achievement was brilliant. I am glad that he claimed a medal in my era (as a coach),” Gopi told Sportstar.

AS IT HAPPENED

“I think Kento Momota was exceptional and arguably the best player on form if you look at the way he has been winning big events,” he said.

“Well, Sai was struggling after a pretty good start against such a good player. Perhaps, if only he were to be fresher for the semifinal (after tiring matches in the previous rounds), it could have been better” Gopi felt.

“But I am glad that Praneeth has proved a point or two to the critics with this terrific performance. Forget the loss in the semifinal, but remember the big bronze he won in the Worlds,” he said.

Dominating performance

On P.V. Sindhu entering her third Worlds final, Gopi felt she was ruthless against All England champion Chen Yu Fei in the semifinal.

“Sindhu played a great game and was dominating right through. It will be another day tomorrow in the final against Nozomi Okuhara of Japan (against whom Sindhu lost in the 2017 Worlds final),” Gopi said even while mentioning that he would have preferred Ratchanok Intanon of Thailand in the final. “But, hopefully, it should be a memorable one for Indian badminton itself,” he concluded.