Pullela Gopichand heaps praise on Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy
In what has arguably been one of the best years for Indian badminton in recent times, a large part of it has and must be attributed to the chief national coach. Understandably, the media wishes to know his thoughts on what has been an extremely productive year for him and the players.
While the female players have been dominating the scene for a while, it's their male counterparts who have surprised, putting up some commendable performances. Srikanth Kidambi, who rose to prominence in 2014, defeating Olympic Champion Lin Dan at the China Open Super Series Premier, hasn't looked back since.
Kidambi began 2017 by lifting the Singapore Open Super Series title. He then went on to win the Indonesia Super Series and then mindbogglingly followed it up with an Australian Super Series Championship, thus setting a new record.
His compatriot, Prannoy HS too had a stellar year, getting the better of the reigning Olympic Champion and silver medalist. While Srikanth is currently ranked second in the world, Prannoy is itching ever so close to the top 10, as he sits in the 11th position.
Gopichand admits, it's been a whirlwind of a year, a year during which he has been observing and dictating proceedings from a vantage point.
"It's been a great year, we've done well in all of the important events. At the end of the year, to have the rankings we have, it's great. We also have three more events, so hopefully we can win a few more," he said.
Gopichand reckons Prannoy's achievements this year have been nothing short of excellent, but suggested that Srikanth's utter dominance grabbed the headlines, albeit for all the right reasons.
"Fantastic, Srikanth has been fantastic, only his performance could overshadow Prannoy's performance, who has also been fantastic. Overall it has been very good," he stated.