Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand is hoping his protege P. V. Sindhu goes the distance in the World Badminton Championships after becoming the first Indian to reach the women’s singles semifinals of the mega event at Guangzhou on Friday.

Sindhu secured a 21-18, 21-17 win over China’s former World No.1 Shixian Wang in the quarterfinals, assuring India of at least a bronze medal in the competition.

“I think Sindhu’s win was fantastic. She has become a good athlete from where she started when she was eight-years-old. Her win brings us a lot of satisfaction. She has to play tomorrow and hopefully turn the bronze into a better medal,” said Gopichand.

Sindhu plays fourth seeded Thai Ratchanok Intanon on Saturday.

Other Indians in the fray, Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap, lost their respective quarterfinals.

On their losses, Gopichand said, “Saina was a little unwell for the last few days and she was drained out after the initial part of the match.”

“On the other hand, Kashyap’s loss was a little disappointing. He fought very well and made us believe he could win. I am sure when we come back to this event next year, we will be much stronger,” he said of Kashyap, who lost after having a match point against Chinese World No.3 Pengyu Du.

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