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badminton: The rise and rise of Indian badminton | Badminton Information – Instances of India

Thomas Cup present will increase its recognition stakes
HYDERABAD: India’s splendid feat of storming into the Thomas Cup closing has shocked many internationally. Whereas the Indian followers are celebrating this monumental event, the dimensions of this victory can be understood solely by severe followers of the sport. Successful particular person titles is totally different however doing properly in workforce occasions like Thomas Cup signifies the depth of the Indian squad. It additionally tells us how far the game has come, in comparison with 15 years in the past when there was little following.
Within the late 90s, Pullela Gopichand‘s mom Subbaravamma used to name newspaper places of work and tv channels to provide the scores of her son’s matches.
Issues didn’t change a lot even after Gopichand‘s triumph on the All England Championships in 2001, however as soon as he took over as India’s chief coach, there was regular enchancment not solely within the efficiency of the gamers, but additionally within the recognition of the game.
A number of credit score for this turnaround goes to Gopichand. Gopi himself factors to 3 main incidents and personalities for turning the fortunes of shuttle sport within the nation.
In 2004, when Sania Mirza received the WTA Hyderabad Open singles title, the tennis stadium was packed past capability. That made the then SAAP vice-chairman LV Subramanyam realise that to popularise a sport one must conduct worldwide tournaments. From then on, yearly Hyderabad hosted a global badminton occasion and the World Championships in 2009. “His (LV’s) foresight helped us to enhance the recognition of the game,” Gopichand mentioned.
The second incident was Saina’s quarterfinal end on the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Folks began taking discover of Saina and adopted her each transfer. She too didn’t disappoint her followers and when she performed the Commonwealth Video games closing in New Delhi, the stadium was packed and police discovered it troublesome to manage the gang exterior the stadium.
Thereafter, Saina began successful one match after the opposite. The NRIs began following her in whichever nation she performed.
Certainly one of Saina’s favorite searching grounds is Indonesia. It is mentioned even the taxi drivers recognise her there and a few even refuse to take the fare from her!
Although Saina turned the primary shuttler to win a bronze within the 2012 London Olympics, she didn’t get the credit score due as Indians received medals in different disciplines too.
However the very subsequent yr, Sindhu took over, successful World Championship medals yr after yr.
Badminton’s recognition reached its zenith when she received the singles silver in 2016 Olympic Video games at Rio de Janeiro. Sindhu received the medal in direction of the top of the Video games and it helped that no different Indian had received a medal in Rio until then. And shortly the nation was cheering Sindhu’s silver and Sakshi Malik’s bronze in fast succession. The whole nation watched Sindhu’s closing towards Carolina Marin and the second she arrived in Delhi proudly displaying the silver medal, she was swarmed by followers on the airport and the lodge. The 20-km lengthy victory procession in Hyderabad was watched with admiration by thousands and thousands of individuals internationally.
Kidambi Srikanth performed his half in popularising the game by successful 4 Tremendous Collection titles, a feat no Indian has achieved. Srikanth and Saina turned world No.1, even when it was for only one week every. And consistent with their achievements and the rising stature of the sport, all three – Saina, Sindhu and Srikanth – signed profitable offers.
The constant success of those shuttlers, all from Gopichand’s academy, modified the face of the sport as 1000’s of academies sprung up everywhere in the nation. The emergence of Lakshya Sen has added to the lustre of the sport. Throughout his All England closing, the teenager who trains on the Prakash Padukone Academy in Bengaluru, loved the assist normally reserved for Saina and Sindhu. That somebody like Unnati Hooda, the 14-year-old with no coaching from any reputed academy went on to win the Odisha Open Worldwide occasion reveals that there’s loads of expertise within the nation.
“You have got three singles matches in Thomas Cup. Even in case you have 10, India can be exhausting to beat, for such is the depth we now have on this nation,” says Gopichand.
Other than being the chief coach, Gopichand and veteran administrator Punnaiah Choudhary labored relentlessly to get sponsors for the tournaments. “Initially, it was very troublesome to get sponsors. We knew so many individuals and everybody preferred Gopichand however only a few gave cash. Gopi used to ask me, ‘sir is it so troublesome to get sponsorships?’ We struggled to get cash for the occasions we performed between 2005-10,” Punnaiah mentioned.
Alongside together with his good friend Srikanth, Gopichand used to spend many sleepless nights to get every part in place for tournaments. However Saina’s Commonwealth Video games gold medal modified issues. The then BAI president Akhilesh Das Gupta’s choice to shift these tournaments from Hyderabad to Delhi additionally helped the game.
Earlier than 2006, an Indian shuttler getting into the primary draw or breaking into top-100 was main information. However now dozens of Indians enter the primary draw of a number of worldwide occasions yearly and the entries for home tournaments cross 3000!
From simply getting into the match to Indians reaching the ultimate of worldwide occasions has turn into a daily function now, and so they actually have a devoted fan base, significantly in Switzerland, Birmingham, Malaysia and Indonesia.
There may be hectic exercise on social media too every time an Indian wins a title. Celebrities like Anand Mahindra, Rajnikanth, Amitabh Bachchan and plenty of movie stars ship congratulatory messages. Prime Minister Narendra Modi by no means forgets to applaud the Indian workforce.
Age group shuttlers now discover it simple to imagine that they will make a profession out of sport and the boldness ranges have zoomed with the Premier Badminton League including to it as worldwide stars are a part of the groups. The prize cash has been hiked for home tournaments and badminton has by no means had it so good within the nation.

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