Early Life of Pullela Gopichand
Pullela Gopichand was born on 16th November, 1973 in Nalgonda District, Andhra Pradesh. Initially interested in cricket, his elder brother initiated him into badminton, and Gopichand had made a mark in the Indian badminton circuit by the time he finished his schooling. Subbaravamma and Pullela Subash Chandra are his parents and Pullela Gopichand was born in the district of Prakasam. He received his higher education from A.V. College which is located in Hyderabad. Public administration was the field in which Gopichand had pursued his graduation in. In 1990 as well as in 1991, Pullela Gopichand served the badminton teams of the Indian universities as the captain.
Career of Pullela Gopichand
S.M. Arif had trained Pullela Gopichand much before he was inducted into the Prakash Padukone academy by the veteran badminton player Prakash Padukone. Ganguly Prasad had also coached Gopichand at the institute called SAI Bangalore. Gopichand won his first National Badminton Championship title in the year 1996, and went on to win consecutively for the next five years till 2000. Further, at the National Games that was held at Imphal in the year 1998, Gopichand won two gold medals and one silver medal. Moreover, in the same year, he led the State Badminton team of Andhra Pradesh and won the highly popular Rahmatulla Cup. Apart from the national badminton circuit, Gopichand also left his mark in the international circuit. In the year 1991, he made his first appearance into the international badminton sphere when he was selected in order to play against Malaysia. In his entire international badminton career, Pullela Gopichand represented India in 3 Thomas Cup tournaments. In 1996, Gopichand won a Gold Medal in the SAARC Badminton Tournament that was organized at Vijayawada, and this victory was repeated in the same event organized at Colombo in the year 1997. He won a bronze Medal at the 1998 Commonwealth Games as an individual player.
International Career of Pullela Gopichand
Pullela Gopichand got his first big boost up in the year 1997 at International level in the Indian Grand Prix Tournament that was held at Delhi. At this tournament, he consistently defeated the top-seeded players from all parts of the world. Further, in 1999, Gopichand won the Scottish Open Championship in Scotland and the Toulouze Open Championship in France. Moreover, Pullela Gopichand emerged as the winner at the Asian Satellite tournament that was organized at Hyderabad in the same year (1999). In the All England Badminton Championship, Gopichand beat Anders Boeson, Olympic Gold Medallist player in the Quarter-Final round and in the Semi-Final round he defeated the Peter Gade, world number one ranking, of Denmark. In the final round, he defeated Chen Hong of China and won the coveted title. Till then the title had been accomplished only by legendry Prakash Padukone, who won the title in the year 1980. Thus, he became the second Indian after Padukone to accomplish this achievement.
Coaching Career of Pullela Gopichand
This star of the Indian badminton sphere now runs the 'Gopichand Badminton Academy' in Hyderabad. Pullela Gopichand is a renowned coach and is known for mentoring and promoting Saina Nehwal, the first Indian woman to win a gold medal in badminton at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Gurusai Datt, Parupalli Kashyap and P.V.Sindhu are the other talented badminton players of the country who have trained under Pullela Gopichand. Pullela Gopichand also promoted PV Sindhu in Summer Olympics 2016.
Awards received by Pullela Gopichand
Pullela Gopichand won several awards for his brilliant performances throughout his flourishing career. In 1999, he was awarded the Arjuna Award by Government of India. Government of Andhra Pradesh rewarded him with a cash prize and a plot in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad as a token of appreciation. In the year 2001, he was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. And he was honoured with the Padma Shri award in 2005. He received the Dronacharya Award on 29 August 2009 for his contribution to Indian badminton as a coach. Pullela Gopichand was honoured with the renowned award of the All England Open Badminton Championships in the year 2001 at London.
Badminton in India
Indian Badminton Players
History of Badminton in India
Indian Badminton Players
Badminton Association of India