P. Gopichand: ‘Fitness is the key to being a successful sportsman’

Known to be a strict disciplinarian, Gopichand leads by example.

P. Gopichand loved challenges because he was also prepared for them. (File Photo)   -  PTI

The traffic is thin at India Gate and early morning joggers on Friday take a close look at the bunch of runners, old and young, slow and quick. Among the group is badminton mentor P. Gopichand, who has flown in from Hyderabad to participate in this three-km run organised as part of the Telangana Formation Day. Needless to say, Gopi comes off the fittest of the lot.

“Fitness is the key to being a successful sportsman. If you are fit you can achieve your dreams. I insist on supreme fitness and the results are visible. Keeping injuries to the least always helps,” he tells the excited audience at the Telangana Bhawan.

Known to be a strict disciplinarian, Gopichand leads by example. “Sport teaches you to be disciplined. When you are disciplined, you can handle any situation. In fact, the best performances are results of the pressure that you feel. Proper training and rest are crucial elements of your competitive programme.”

Gopichand loved challenges because he was also prepared for them. “You have to understand your game. I could. In modern times, the players have come to accept that fitness can help you improve your game. The fittest also sustain themselves best,” said the super coach.

READ: Gopichand inaugurates Hyderabad Hunters badminton academy

He was happy with the closely-crafted training and tournament-participation schedule chalked out for the athletes ahead of the Asian Games. “They should hit the peak at the Asian Games (at Jakarta in August-September). The players have come competitions ahead of the Asian Games and that adds to the preparation,” added Gopi Chand.

Among those who participated was 63-year-old Mohammad Shayan, who cycled through five states to compete for the journey. “I was feted all the way,” said Shayan.

Organised by the Telangana Government Resident Commissioner Ashok Kumar, the three-km run is to be expanded in 2019 with the greater participation of athletes.