Saturday, September 25, 2010

Time to focus on challenge ahead

Pullela Gopi Chand feels it is time to focus on the challenge ahead in the 2010 Commonwealth Games rather than on issues like pull-outs.

“After a couple of years when you look back, what will matter is whether you won a medal or not in Delhi,” Gopi said.

The Indian squad has been going through a preparatory camp at the Gopi Chand Academy here. “Playing in front of home crowds and in conditions familiar to us are advantageous. But, again, even to win here, you have to play at your best,” he said.

He picked the World No. 12 mixed doubles pair of V. Diju and Jwala Gutta for special mention.

“They are an exceptional combination and the way they complement each other on the court is amazing.

“I am expecting a much better haul of medals in Delhi this time compared to the 2006 Melbourne Games,” Gopi said.

Saina Nehwal who propelled India to a team bronze in the Melbourne Games is in the mood to script a new chapter. “The biggest motivation is that the entire crowd will be behind you. These make the Games so special,” she said.

The team: Men: Chetan Anand, Parupalli Kashyap, Sanave Thomas, Rupesh Kumar and V. Diju.

Women: Saina Nehwal, Aditi Mutatkar, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa and Aparna Balan.

Chief National coach: Pullela Gopi Chand. Foreign coach: Atik Jauhari .

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