Calcutta: As a player, he won the prestigious All England Championships in 2001. He has also been awarded with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the Padma Shri and, more recently, the Dronacharya Award. But former shuttler Pullela Gopichand feels his list of achievements will be incomplete until one of his students go on to win an Olympic medal.
In the city to attend badminton clinics of the East Zone chapter of his academy, Gopichand said: “Winning the All England was great and receiving the Dronacharya was also a great honour… But I’ll be happiest the day one of my students goes on to win an Olympic medal.”
The 35-year-old was also of the view that the sport was on the right track in the country. “The scenes are very encouraging in India. At present, we almost have a top-20 player in each of the categories.
“We just need to graduate to the next level, and that’s very much possible. All we need is some fine tuning and focus on fitness,” he said.