Gobadminton desk Image Courtesy:
20 Feb, 2017
After a score year in 2001, the top seed Gopichand had won ‘All
England Championship title against China’s Chen Hong, 12th seed by 15-12, 15-6.
After Prakash Padukone, who won All England, way back in 1980, it is his
student who again brought the trophy back to home, making him and his coach
Ganguly Prasad proud.
All England 10th seed was a 27-year-old who had three operations in
four years on his left knee. He beats Anders Boesen from Denmark by 15-11,
15-7. In the semi-finals, he played a brilliant game thrashing world No. 1
Peter Gade, the toughest player by 17-14, 17-16. This match had happened when
points could be won on winning the serves; an old scoring system.
In finals, Gopichand let Chen Hong to lead, initially, by adeptly
playing the game. He was slothful. It is all about the strategy to win.
Probably, it was his mindset to wait for his opponent to get exhausted and
started smashing back from 3-7. He let the Chen shots go wide for couple of
times to win points by 6-9. With fierce strokes he knocked the game in 25 minutes
Second game started with complete command by Gopichand. He scored
straight 4 points in the start. Chen Hong bounced back to level the score. The
bird was restless as it was being moved from rare to alley courts. Most of the
shots this time were happened to be net shots which favoured Gopichand to win 5
points straight again by 10-5. Unlike the first game, Chen couldn’t execute the
game by maintaining the score with Gopi as he was tired already after three
long games in semi-finals against Roslin Hashim of Malaysia by 10-15, 17-16, 15-12.
Then Gopi took it to 13-5 and ended the match with an ease by 15-6. It was
really quick finals, yet, it took more than two decades to repeat the history
by winning the most venerated ‘All England Championship’ trophy.
It was a moment to cherish. Winning the prestigious award was a great
sense of pride for not only his family, mentor and coach but also for the home
country. We can bet that it couldn’t be the easy job to win a big title. At the
age of 11, his amateur interest to play badminton in local competitions had
developed to his all-time interest and made him to win Junior National
Championship at 18. Later he
didn’t look back. He won Men’s Championship after very long three
years. He was ascending with the Indian Badminton rankings. After joining
Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy in bangalore, he was given a discipline
training and motivation which helped him to come back onto the court after his
major knee injury; he had almost lost hopes on his badminton career.
His knee injury got him on his nerves while he was losing hopes. An arthroscopic
procedure and rehabilitation drew him back. In 1998, he won bronze in
Commonwealth Games and in 2000 he reached finals in Thomas Cup. Then comes the
impressive win of ‘All England Championship’ title in 2001. This time, after
winning All England, badminton sport has reached heights, boosted and pulled
many players into the sport. As a player, his remarkable feats in the sport
impressed Indian government and was lauded by many awards that includes,
● Arjuna Award, 1999.
● Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, 2001
● Padma Shri, 2005
● Dronacharya Award, 2009
● Padma Bhushan, 2014
In 2006, Gopichand was declared as coach for Indian national badminton
team by Badminton Association of India. In 2008, he established his badminton
academy in Hyderabad. Today, his academy is much talked about. It has become
the root for many badminton players to win national and international