National badminton coach Pulela Gopichand expects Indian athletes to claim an incomparable double-digit Olympic medal and has announced world champion PV Sindhu as one of the favorites to win gold.
India will send its largest Olympic contingent – more than 120 athletes – to the Tokyo Olympics, which begin on Friday.
“I believe that this time we will have, we hope, the biggest medal in India so far. We can surpass what the Indian team did in London, which is six medals, and hopefully we get to double digits. I hope, “said Gopichand.
“Since there is a lot of support and help from the government and I just want the support we have, I think getting more medals strengthens the hands of people involved in sports.
“I believe that whether it’s shooting, wrestling, boxing or Mirabay Chanu in weightlifting, I think they have a good chance,” he said during a webinar announcing the collaboration between the Heart Institute and Diana, the official partner. meditation of the Indian Olympic contingent.
Gopichand, who has led Saina Neval and Sindhu to bronze and silver respectively in the last two Olympic Games, believes that Indian badminton players have a good opportunity to improve their performance.
“In badminton, we have a chance to definitely improve on what we did in Rio and London. So I hope Sindhu can do it, she will definitely be one of the favorites at the Olympics and on the spot,” he said.
“And also Chirag and Satwik have a tough draw, but I see them as potential medal hopes. It will be difficult for Sai Praneeth. But he did well at the World Cup and I hope he can repeat that performance.
Gopichand said it would be a stressful Olympics with all the necessary restrictions and protocols.
“This Olympics will be very different from what we have had in the past. Usually the Olympics are like a holiday, like a party celebration where there are a lot of young people from all over the world … every circle and corner will find a superstar from another sport, from different countries, “Gopichand said.
“Usually it’s a very lively environment, but this time it will be almost like a place to work and move, because once you lose, you have to leave the country within 48 hours, that’s the norm they have.
“So it’s going to be stressful. You get up every morning, you wear your mask, you do your temperature tests, so it’s going to be hard.
“So the time they are able to relax, focus on breathing, be alone and have things to do productively, not just stress on things they can’t control, will be an important thing.