Saina’s Indonesia triumph among the best in Indian sport: Gopichand

Sunday, June 21, 2009

NEW DELHI - Saina Nehwal has put her name alongside the greatest of Indian sportspersons after her triumph in the Indonesia Super Series Sunday, feels her coach and former All England champion Pullela Gopichand.

“She has achieved something remarkable for Indian badminton,” an elated Gopichand told IANS from Hyderabad.

Saina beat China’s Lin Wang 12-21, 21-18, 21-9 to win her maiden Super Series title Sunday.

Asked to compare Saina’s victory with his and Prakash Padukone’s All England titles, Gopichand said it was certainly up there among the top.

“Saina’s achievement is huge lift not just for badminton but for Indian sport. The tournament might not be in the branding of All-England or world championships, but in terms of quality it is as good as any top level tournament.

“The fact that she has been able to win in a field with eight of the world’s top 10 player competing says it all,” he said.

“She might not know the importance of this victory now. It does not matter how her international career unfold from here, but going by what she has achieved at such a young age she has already left her mark in Indian sport.”

“She has been consistent in beating top players regularly and her level has gone up.”

Gopichand said that the title will be a huge boost for Saina before the World Championships in Hyderabad in August.

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