BADMINTON Other Sports

Gayatri Gopichand showing signs of a champion

GENERATIONS THREE: Gayatri Gopi Chand flanked by her grandmother Subbaravamma Pullela (left) and mother P.V.V. Lakshmi.

GENERATIONS THREE: Gayatri Gopi Chand flanked by her grandmother Subbaravamma Pullela (left) and mother P.V.V. Lakshmi.  

Gayatri Gopichand, who won a double in the all India sub-junior ranking badminton on Sunday, has been working hard on her game for over seven hours a day.

“It’s tough at times during training. I am forced to sacrifice time out with my friends as well but I have my eyes set firmly on representing the country one day at the Olympics,” said the 13-year-old, trained by her all England champion-father Pullela Gopichand at his academy.

“We are putting our best foot forward but the rest lies in her hands,” said her mother P.V.V. Lakshmi, an eight-time former National champion. “She has got some good strokes and is a very good listener too. I am pleased with her progress.”

Gayatri, who has couple of bronze medals in doubles at the Asian level, was out of competition for over four months due to a knee-stress injury. “In fact, she had trained only for two days prior to this tournament.

“But coming back from an injury lay-off and winning a double title was something special for all of us,” said Lakshmi.

Does she enjoy special attention at her father’s academy? “There’s no special training or attention given to her. She is treated as any other trainee in the Academy,” quickly intervened Subbaravamma Pullela, Gayatri’s grandmother.

“Also, Gopi does not get much time to spend with her but he definitely talks and and clears certain doubts about the game,” she added.

The Pullela family has adopted a professional approach, from chalking out training and travel schedules, on their young ward.

“Of course, we guide her like any other player who needs professional help.

“It is working nicely on her but only time will tell,” said Lakshmi.

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Printable version | Aug 15, 2020 5:22:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/Gayatri-Gopichand-showing-signs-of-a-champion/article17125792.ece

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