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“Fantastic Performance”: Pullela Gopichand On Historic Asia Team Badminton Gold For Indian Women

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Chief national coach Pullela Gopichand on Sunday hailed India’s first-ever gold medal at the Badminton Asia Team Championships and said the performance of the young women brigade gives him a lot of hope for the future. The Indian women’s team on Sunday scripted a historic title win at the Badminton Asia Team Championships with a tight 3-2 victory over Thailand in Shah Alam, Malaysia.

“It has been a fantastic performance. Overall, every member of the team contributed. We beat some really top teams, not many teams in the world can talk about beating China, Japan and Thailand and I think each played well,” Gopichand said after the win.

“It has been a total team performance, a superb win for the team. It was great how Sindhu won the match and then Gayatri and Treesa were playing somebody strong. It was a fantastic win. It was a tough match to pull through and then Anmol was really special.”

It is the first-ever major title for the Indian women in team championships and provides a big boost to the side ahead of the Uber Cup, which is set to be held in Chengdu, China from April 28 to May 5.

“It is good that we have strong singles and strong doubles, it makes a formidable team but having said that there are teams like China, Japan, Korea which are very strong and we definitely need to have our best team winning there,” Gopichand said.

“It’s still time, I am very happy about this performance and I am hopeful about the future.” Gopichand again praised the 17-year-old Anmol Kharb, who once again delivered when it mattered by winning the deciding fifth rubber of the five-match tie.

“To actually play the deciding tie in a big match… the final of a team event, it needs guts and an amount of confidence and it shows what you are made of. I think she has done remarkably well on that front.

“She has been phenomenal, she played the right strokes and she had the greatest of attitude and it is wonderful to see.” Congratulating the team on the title triumph, Badminton Association of India (BAI) secretary Sanjay Mishra said, “It is a proud moment for all of us. It also underlined the depth of badminton talent in India and we are confident that this bunch of players will win many more titles in the coming years.” Social media too was abuzz with congratulatory messages pouring in for the young women’s team.

“These past few days will be etched in my memory forever. We defied the odds and defeated some formidable teams to lift this title,” Sindhu wrote on instagram.

“… winning and representing this incredible country, India, never gets old. May God bless me with the honor of representing for many years to come.” Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, one half of world No. 1 Indian men’s doubles pair, also congratulated the team.

“BAC Champions Team India. Huge congratulations to our Womens Team. Special shout out to Sindhu akka, Gayatri – Terressa and very special Anmol for making this happen #teamevent #dreamevent #champions #India @BAI_Media,” he tweeted.

India beat the top-three seeded teams — China, Japan and Thailand — on way to winning the gold.

“Too good from the girls. Just one more statement on how well we have evolved as a team in the last few years and are a major force in these kind of big team events !!,” world No. 7 HS Prannoy wrote on ‘X’.

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