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Hopeful of best ever Olympics in Tokyo: Gopichand

 NEW DELHI, Jan 3: India’s top players, including PV Sindhu, may not be going through the best of times, but national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand is still hopeful of a best-ever Olympics outing in Tokyo.

“We have had some good performances in the last couple of Olympics. This time we will go into the Olympics with a world champion in our team (Sindhu), and hopefully, with some good preparations, we can come back with better performances than what we have had in the previous Games,” said Gopichand. Sindhu is currently the reigning women’s singles world champion having clinched the title by beating Nozomi Okuhara of Japan at Basel, Switzerland in August last year.

Gopichand, who has produced two Olympic medallists – Saina Nehwal (bronze in 2012) and Sindhu (silver in 2016) – lauded the Government of India’s Khelo India Youth Games event, saying the initiative provides great exposure to young athletes of the country.

“An event like Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG) which has all sports together gives a great exposure to athletes. It’s something I am very happy about. And in general, the Khelo India programme, whether it’s the scholarships or the accredited academies, helps in portraying a positive picture for sport,” he said. The 46-year-old, who won the prestigious All England Open Badminton Championships at Birmingham in 2001, said the experience of competing in KIYG will help young shuttlers immensely. – PTI

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