Rio de Janeiro, Aug 20 (IANS) Indian badminton chief coach Pullela Gopichand on Friday said that he was proud of the fact that under his tutelage the country has won two consecutive medals in Olympics.
Saina Nehwal won a bronze in London Olympics in 2012 and P.V. Sindhu bettered the colour of the medal after losing the women’s singles final to Carolina Marin of Spain at Rio on Friday.
“It’s a one in a lifetime or one in a million times or, for us, one in a billion times that somebody gets an opportunity to stand on that (medal) podium and for someone like me it was a part of the journey as well,” Gopichand told reporters.
“I am very happy and grateful to God and very grateful to people who have supported this journey, who believed in us.”
‘Gopi’, as he is fondly called, reminisced that he told Sindhu to soak in the moment that she has claimed the silver — and not get crestfallen by the defeat in the title clash.
“Immediately after the game, I told her, don’t think we have lost a match, but that we have won a medal. This I told her so that she doesn’t forget the effort she put in the last week,” Gopichand said.
“It has done us all proud with the kind of effort she put in. We are happy and I wanted her to also feel the same way.”
Saina was the first Indian badminton player to win an Olympic medal in 2012 London Olympics.