Hyderabad: The Indian heroes returned home to a rousing welcome on Tuesday. Fresh from their respective Glasgow conquests, Parupalli Kashyap, P V Sindhu and R M V Gurusaidutt were accorded a welcome befitting their Commonwealth Games accomplishments.
“I am delighted that I could win a major title after a long time. The bronze in New Delhi haunted me all these years because I was younger and fitter then. Winning gold is always special,” Kashyap told reporters soon after touching base at Shamshabad airport.
Sindhu was visibly disappointed because she was expected to win the gold but had to settle for a bronze in her maiden CWG appearance. “Although, I am happy with the bronze finish, I could have played better,” Sindhu said.
Gurusaidutt said it was a great feeling to have won a bronze medal for the country in what also is his first Commonwealth Games appearance.
Expressing happiness over the achievements of his wards, India’s chief national coach Gopichand said Kashyap’s win meant a lot for the sport in the country: “We have worked hard over the last few years. He (Kashyap) has improved a lot. Of course, there are areas you can improve upon and you need to keep working. I am happy for his fantastic result. It means a lot for Indian badminton as well,” said Gopichand.
Talking about the impact of the performance, Gopichand said, “This will have a huge impact on the game. Especially to the men’s game. We have been doing good in the women’s category. And now, other men players will be motivated.” Gopichand also hailed the silver medal performance of Jwala and Ponnappa. “It was a very good performance. They played very well in semis and also in finals. It was unfortunate that they missed out on a gold. But it was a close contest,” he added.
“Competitions are tough. We need to keep pushing as well. We need to consistently work hard to sustain our success. The level I am talking of is of the highest level and it is important we keep pushing each and every day,” added Gopichand.