Pullela Gopichand, the former badminton player, was the reason behind the success of the Olympic medallists Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu. He produced many great badminton players like Saina Nehwal, Srikanth Kidambi, PV Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap, HS Prannoy, etc. Pullela Gopichand was born on November 16, 1973, in Prakasam district, AP. This great Hyderabadi sportsperson is celebrating his 44th birthday today. So, let's share some of the interesting facts on his birthday.
Gopichand at his young age wanted to become a cricket player, but his brother Rajashekar Gopichand had suggested him to play badminton. His brother was also a state player in badminton. With an excellent talent in badminton, he was selected as a captain of the 'Indian Combined Universities' in 1990 and 91. At the age of 17 (1991), he managed to catch the eye of the selectors and was selected for the State's Juniors Badminton squad.
The former badminton player won five consecutive National Championship titles. In 1998 Commonwealth Games, Gopichand won silver and bronze medals in the Men's team and Men's singles, respectively.
The 44-year-old clinched the All England Badminton Championships in 2001 and was the second Indian player to achieve this feat after Prakash Padukone. At the age of 30, the badminton star announced his retirement in 2003.
Recognising his contributions to the sports space, Government of India conferred him with prestigious awards like - Arjuna Award (1999), Padma Shri (2005), Dronacharya Award (2009) and Padma Bhushan (2014).
In 2008, the badminton player established a badminton academy in Hyderabad with world-class training facilities. Many players like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, P Kashyap, Srikanth Kidambi etc., have come from his academy and went on doing wonders in the international arena.
Under his coaching, PV Sindhu (2016) and Saina Nehwal (2012) have won silver and bronze medals respectively at the Olympics. These achievements show his capability of producing the top class players. Hope, he continues his good work in producing many world-class players.
We, EeYuva, wish Pullela Gopichand a wonderful 'Happy Birthday'.