Key is in beating Chinese at every level: Gopi
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When Pullela Gopichand arrived at Lucknow on Thursday evening to assess the progress junior Indian shuttlers have made in the camp they have been undergoing here, he was happy that the youngsters look in good shape for the World Junior Championships. Though the tournament at Chiba, Japan, from October 25 to November 3 will not see India's top juniors PV Sindhu and Sameer Verma in action but Gopichand feels that there is a possibility that the promising youngsters will come back with medals from the prestigious event. Gopichand was optimistic about how this team is shaping up and said that the key is that Indians have started defeating the Chinese at various levels.
"The team for the World Junior Championships is very young. In the boys' section we have players like Harsheel Dani and Aditya Joshi and among the girls we have Rituparna Das and G Ruthvika Shivani who are all very promising. They all are showing very good potential. Though this is the first time I have been made a coach of the national coaching camp for juniors, I have been looking after the training of many of these players at my academy.
Gopichand admitted that having Sindhu and Verma, who had to pull out of the tournament due to injuries, would have bolstered the chances of winning the yellow metal. "In the last edition of the championships, Sameer had won a bronze for India in the boys singles event. Both Sindhu and Sameer were strong medal hopes for India but I believe that there is no use of playing just for the sake of playing when you have injury problems and cannot give your best because of it."
Though the former All-England champion will not be able to accompany the team, he said that juniors winning at the international level is a good sign for Indian badminton. Giving an example he said: "In the Asia Youth Under-15 and Under-17 Championships held at Dongguan, China held earlier this month, Chirag Sen won a bronze in the under-15 boys singles while Chirag and Rahul Yadav won the under-15 years boys doubles bronze. They lost in hard-fought matches."
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